Children's charity NSPCC has revealed that the number of cases of child neglect being reported to them is rising.
In the North East and Cumbria 507 concerned people rang the chairty last year, and the number of cases that needed to be referred on to police or children's services increased by 26.7% from the previous year.
"The rise in reports of neglect to the NSPCC comes as local children's services face unprecedented pressures, with more children being taken into care, and more families needing help at a time of significant funding cuts.
Last year 137 children in Newcastle were subject to child protection plans because they were at risk of harm from neglect - up from 113 on the previous year.
Callers to the NSPCC helpline described children going hungry and begging neighbours for food. Others were worried about children left home alone or outside in the cold for hours on end."
– NSPCC spokesperson
Anyone who thinks a child is being neglected, or suffering any kind of abuse, shouldn’t wait until they are certain there’s a problem. Contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or click here to visit their website.