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Child abuse in Barking and Dagenham still threat, despite figures

08:30 26 April 2013

The number of children on child protection plans is falling but a children’s charity says the levels of abuse in the borough and beyond are still far too high.

A total of 227 children were subject to child protection plans in Barking and Dagenham as of March 2012, charity the NSPCC said.

In 2011, it was 275 youngsters and the previous year it was 345.

However, the NSPCC, which runs services in the borough, said there are many more abused youngsters who are not on the radar of local authorities.

A new report by the charity, called How Safe Are Our Children?, estimates that for every child in the UK subject to a protection plan or on child protection registers, another eight have suffered maltreatment.

Colin Peak, NSPCC regional head for north London and east of England, said: “Abuse and maltreatment can have a devastating effect on a child’s mental and physical health.

“When we discover abuse we must do everything we can to protect children from further harm and help them recover.”

Mr Peak said child protection services are already working in overdrive so more must be done to prevent abuse from happening in the first place.

“By identifying and supporting vulnerable children and their families early, we can stop abuse before it starts and set a new course to give children a brighter, happier future,” he added.

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