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Updated 25 April 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis, it is particularly important that children and young people in Plymouth are safeguarded.

Worried about a child?

If you are worried about a child, and they are in real danger now call 999.

If you are worried about a children or young person and think they are being abused or neglected, even if you are unsure you can contact:

  • Plymouth Gateway on 01752 668000
  • NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Staff working within the Gateway and NSPCC are working with a large number of other agencies and the wider community during the COVID-19 lock down period to ensure that children are safeguarded.   These staff will advise anyone (professional or members of the public) with any concerns about a child.

The Plymouth Safeguarding Children Partnership is urging everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for children who may be at risk of harm, abuse or neglect during the COVID-19 crisis.  It is now more important than ever for members of the public to speak up if they are concerned about a child or young person

Don't ignore it, report it.

More information is available on the Plymouth Safeguarding Children's Board website

Spotting the signs of abuse

The NSPCC recognises that social distancing, self-isolating and quarantine can cause stress and changes in everyone's behaviour.   Families are under new pressures and you may worry that a child is withdrawn, anxious or depressed.  Spotting the signs of abuse might be more difficult and it can be difficult to know for certain if something is wrong.

Abuse is always wrong and should be reported

Some of the signs you may spot include:

  • Aggressive or repeated shouting
  • Hearing hitting or things being broken
  • Children crying for long periods of time
  • Very young children left alone or are outdoors by themselves
  • Children look dirty or not changing their clothes
  • Children being withdrawn or anxious

These signs don't necessary mean that a child is being abused, there could be a number of other things happening in their life which are affecting their behaviours, but by contacting Plymouth Gateway on 01752 668000 or NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 they can assess the situation.

Keeping young people safe online

There is a lot of advice and support for parents, children and young people on keeping safe on line.  

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