SEVENTY-SIX per cent of children in the North of England know another child who is suffering from neglect, according to a report published today (Wednesday, March 26) by Action for Children.

Despite neglect affecting more than 1.5m children the charity claims that the Government does not have a strategy to deal with the problem.

John Egan, operational director of children’s services at Action for Children in the North-East, said: “Neglect is a huge problem across the region.

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“A child looking dirty, or being tired or hungry are obvious signs, but not forming friendships, under achieving at school or being withdrawn can be just as telling.

“We know that neglect is the most common form of abuse in the UK, but the fact that eight-year-olds can see signs all around them shows the extent of the problem. That is why we want the Government to do more.”

Action for Children wants the Government to adopt practical measures for a new strategy, including a web portal where people can report concerns about children and systems allowing accurate birth data to be collected.

Other key findings from the research in the North of England found that 45 per cent of children said a safe adult to talk to would help a child they were worried about while another 36 per cent of children thought that there should be more support for parents.

Worryingly, 47 per cent of professionals said public spending cuts will make it more difficult to intervene in neglect cases in the future.