1. ITV Report

'There's never any food at home' - rising child neglect in Anglia region

. Credit: Press Association Images.

The NSPCC is referring a record number of reports of neglect to police and social services - including a massive increase from the Anglia region.

The children's charity believes the rise is a sign that people are more willing to speak up when they witness the problem.

Calls to its helpline - which come from neighbours, family, friends and even children themselves - highlight issues including young children left home alone, youngsters who seem hungry or arrive at school without lunch money, and untreated injuries or medical issues.

Peter Wanless, the NSPCC's chief executive, urged people to report problems.

. Credit: Press Association Images.

"Neglect can have severe and long-lasting consequences for children, and can also be an indicator of other forms of abuse.

"This is why it is so important for anyone suspecting a child of being neglected to contact the NSPCC Helpline, so we can alert the authorities to quickly step in and help those in need."

– Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive.

In Hertfordshire, the NSPCC made 55% more referrals last year (2016/17) compared with the year before.

Suffolk saw a 41% rise - from 167 in 2015/16 to 235 in 2016/17 - while Bedfordshire referred a record 174 calls, up from 136 12 months before, and 90 in 2011/12.

Essex had the most referrals - 516 just last year, which has more than doubled since 2011/12 - while both Cambridgeshire and Norfolk both passed on nearly 300 calls to police and social services in those counties.

An example of a call from a child to Childline. Credit: ITV News Anglia.
An example of a call from a child to Childline. Credit: ITV News Anglia.