Child cruelty and neglect offences in the East of England has soared in recent years, according to a charity.

Figures obtained by the NSPCC found that between 2018/19, there were a total of 1,106 offences in the region compared to 444 between 2013/14.

Hertfordshire saw the lowest amount of offences for the most recent year with 40 recorded. In 2017/18 the county saw 31 offences, the lowest it has been since 2013.

For the most recent year Essex saw the largest amount of offences recorded at 273– and this was five times higher than what it was between 2013/14.

And in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, the number of offences have more than doubled from what it was between 2013/14 to 2018/19.

Across the UK, the NSPCC found there were 20,024 child cruelty and neglect offences recorded by police in 2018/19, which has more than doubled since 2013/14 where there were 9,518 crimes of this nature.

Reports to police included extreme cases of when parents or carers deliberately neglected, assaulted, abandoned or exposed their child to serious harm and unnecessary suffering, the NSPCC said.

Now, The NSPCC Christmas Appeal is calling for donations so it can be there for children suffering from neglect and abuse at Christmas and all year round.

Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC said: “To see year after year the number of neglect and cruelty offences rise so dramatically is disturbing. Greater public awareness and improvements in police recording could be factors in this continuous increase, but deeper societal issues such as increasing pressure on parents and a lack of investment in early intervention services, are leaving more children vulnerable and exposed to pain and suffering.

“Whatever the reasons for the rise cruelty to children is never ok, it is vital that children always have a place they can go to seek help and support, day and night. Childline never stops and never sleeps, but for this to continue we need the public’s support and to back our ‘Light for Every Childhood’ Appeal.”

Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline seven days a week on

0808 800 5000, or email