Croydon has highest number of child neglect reports in London, NSPCC says
A CHILDREN'S charity received more reports of serious neglect in Croydon than anywhere else in London.
The NSPCC made 52 referrals about the mistreatment of children in Croydon to social services or the police in 2011/12, twice as many as five other boroughs.
The council described the figures as "unsurprising" given the high number of young people in Croydon.
The NSPCC did not have details on the nature of the allegations of neglect in Croydon or how the stats compared with the previous year.
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But head of service Julie Cole described the 27.4 per cent increase in referrals across London as "worrying".
"More research is needed on why this sharp increase has occurred," she added.
Of the 807 contacts in London, 563 were so serious they required the involvement of police or children's services.
Callers to the NSPCC helpline described children going hungry and begging neighbours for food. Others were worried about children left home alone.
The NSPCC referred 52 calls from Croydon to social services or the police, 42 in Enfield and Lewisham and 38 in Bexley. Sutton had 22 referrals and Tower Hamlets 21.
Official figures show there are 89,300 children in Croydon.
A Croydon Council spokesman said: "With the largest child population of any local borough, and with the NSPCC having one of its few London offices based here, it is perhaps unsurprising that Croydon tops this list.
"However, that said, we are far from complacent, and our policy of early intervention means that we are doing everything we can to support families."