New figures from the Department of Education deem the city of Coventry the second worst in England for child abuse and neglect, with Southampton as first.
Nearly 3,000 children were declared as “in need” by children’s social services in Coventry because of abuse or neglect.
The figures from March this year show that this is approximately one in every 25 children under 18.
2,979 children are said to be suffering from abuse or neglect in Coventry, which is more than 80% of the children that were assessed as “in need”.
Councillor Ed Ruane, the Cabinet Member for Children said: “These figures will undoubtedly shock people but they clearly show the extent of the issue and also suggest the reporting of abuse is something people feel far more confident in doing.”
He added: “We take our responsibility to protect children from abuse and neglect very seriously and we would urge anyone who suspects a child is being abused to report it immediately so the correct measures can be taken.”
Coventry resident Bonnie Ramsey said: “Unfortunately there are many more cases that have not been reported. I worry that the figure is a lot higher.”
Another resident, Joanne Wiggins commented: “Walking around Coventry city centre and hearing how parents ‘talk’ to their kids, I am not surprised.”
However, Coventry City Council said that it cannot protect the most vulnerable due to austerity. They will be short of £650 million for the most vulnerable because of cuts from the government.
Councillor John Mutton, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We’re not able to protect the most vulnerable, but our intention is to try to.”
If you think that a child is at risk, please call 024 7678 8555.