campaign urges people not to wait to report sexual abuse
WHILST recent media coverage has heightened
public awareness of child sexual abuse a poll conducted last week by
the NSPCC and YouGov shows that many people are waiting to act, with
17% saying they would report concerns as soon as they arose.
These findings are supported by the NSPCC's own data that shows
almost half of people who contact its helpline have waited over a
month to get in touch, with some waiting much longer. The charity is
therefore concerned that people are still unsure how and when to
In response to the unprecedented surge in willingness to take action
the children's charity is today launching a 6 week TV campaign
explaining how the public can report abuse whilst urging them:-
'Don't wait until you're certain.'
Every year, the NSPCC helpline receives thousands of calls from
people worried about child sexual abuse, and in Merseyside last year
(1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012) 33 contacts were so serious, they
had to be referred on to other agencies like social services or the
police to keep the child safe.
Peter Watt, Director of the NSPCC's helpline, said:-
"Child sexual abuse is not a problem that died with Jimmy Savile. It is a problem that continues today, with children across
the UK suffering at the hands of a minority of adults.
Whilst the uplift in reports of abuse and new figures indicating
that people are more willing to speak out is very welcome, it's also
clear that people are still waiting for that elusive certainty
before taking action. People clearly have the desire to act but are
unsure how or when to do it.
The truth is you will probably never be certain because of the
hidden nature of abuse, especially sexual abuse. And the poll also
shows that 59% of people are not confident that they could spot the
signs if a child they knew was being sexually abused. This is
why we are taking our award winning 'Don't wait' film,
directed by Amanda Boyle, to a wider audience as a television
advert. Originally produced as an online viral the video will now be
shown across the country to give people the information they need to
The poll found that the main barriers to reporting child abuse would
be fear of being wrong (59%), fear of making it worse for the child
(39%), fear of splitting up the child's family (17%) and fear of
repercussions for the accused (17%).
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos said:- "Jimmy Savile was
allowed to abuse in part because people were not certain what they
were seeing was abuse, and in part because the children themselves
were not listened to or believed. It's vital that people listen to
what children are saying, and that they report concerns immediately
even if they are not certain. People are understandably
concerned about being wrong or making things worse for the child if
they say something, but all the time they spend procrastinating that
child could be in real danger. To a child who is being abused every
day the abuse is allowed to continue can feel like a lifetime. And
its important people understand that if they are wrong, a family
will not be separated because of their mistake. Trained
professionals will tactfully investigate before any action is taken.
You can't be expected to know for certain and that's where the NSPCC
Monica called the NSPCC when her daughter's friend confided that her
violent father had sexually abused her 13 year old sister:- "I
knew I had to act. I felt the responsibility of what might happen to
the family, but I had to do it.
I don't know exactly what happened after that, but I do know that
shortly afterwards Emily and her sister no longer lived with their
father. Sometime later, I spoke to a neighbour who told me that she
had heard something that worried her about father's behaviour toward
the children, but that she had not acted for fear of 'getting
involved. I wouldn't hesitate to call the NSPCC again if I
was worried about a child, even if I wasn't sure. You have to trust
your instincts if something feels wrong. We've got an obligation to
listen to children."
Anyone who has concerns about a child or wants advice can contact
the NSPCC for free 24 hours a day, by calling:- 0808 800 5000, emailing:-
88858 or using an online reporting form. They can choose to remain
anonymous if they wish.
New report backs
£15m Welsh Streets plans
AN INDEPENDENT review of
housing in the Princes Park area has backed the City's plans to
revitalise the Welsh Streets through the delivery of 150 new homes
and clearance of derelict properties.
Property services consultants DTZ were commissioned in August 2012
to carry out an up-to-date Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment (NRA)
for Princes Park, to evaluate housing renewal options and to explore
the aspirations of local people.
DTZ looked at a range of options and concluded that the City Council
and Plus Dane Group's plans for the "replacement of obsolete
housing and redevelopment with new homes" is the most
effective method to support the regeneration of the Welsh Streets.
The report found that the Council's proposals for the area would
offer a comprehensive scheme to support the physical, environmental
and perceptual transformation of the area.
It recognised that this option would diversify the existing local
housing stock within the area, offering modern family housing; with
gardens and off street parking. This, in turn would help to create a
more sustainable community, by encouraging local people to remain in
the area, rather than having to meet their aspirations elsewhere,
and attracting new residents.
The City Council is now putting forward the recommendation to
proceed with the £15 million housing renewal plans for the area,
paving the way to the official submission, later this month, of the
The proposed scheme, delivered by the City Council and Plus Dane,
includes the delivery of over 150 affordable, high-quality new homes
for the local community and new residents, built to the highest
standards. The properties, for rent and sale, will provide a diverse
mix of housing for the area, and will be designed to be energy
efficient and spacious, with many including gardens. Under the
plans, 280 homes will be demolished and 37 homes retained for
refurbishment in partnership with the local community.
Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann
O'Byrne, said:- "This review has been invaluable in providing
an up to date picture of housing in the Princes Park area and
gauging what local people want. We have already been given a clear
message from the majority of Welsh Streets residents that they are
in favour of our plans, and this report gives us further confidence
in the potential of this scheme to drive forward the regeneration of
We are now looking to press ahead with the submission of the
planning application for the scheme. We believe it will revitalise
housing in the Welsh Streets, and deliver the type of homes that
people have consistently told us they want to live in, with gardens
and driveways. Everything we are doing is aimed at creating a
vibrant, attractive and sustainable neighbourhood, with a good mix
of housing. Residents have endured too many delays in the revival of
their neighbourhood and I would hope that we will now be able to
move forward quickly with these exciting plans."
The DTZ report recognises that the redevelopment of Welsh Streets
will be delivered in a funding and policy climate where public
sector funding is limited, house building is at an all time low, but
need is increasing. In response to these factors, there has been a
shift in national policy and funding, away from clearance. The
report states that, given this shift, a small element of
refurbishment should be considered for the area.
The City Council and Plus Dane's plans meet this recommendation
through the proposals to retain 40 houses, including the
refurbishment of 37 terraced properties; 16 of these on Madryn
Street, 5 on High Park Street and 16 Kelvin Grove. The Council and
Plus Dane will be launching a pilot scheme to give the local
community the opportunity to refurbish the 16 Madryn Street
properties which had previously been earmarked for demolition; thats
including 9 Madryn Street, the childhood home of Ringo Starr.
The report concludes by acknowledging that the City Council and Plus
Dane scheme encompasses a number of key principles which are vital
for the transformation of the Welsh Streets, including:
Determining the optimum mix of new build and refurbishment,
proceeding with significant clearance to remove the properties in
the worst condition, and delivering a better mix of housing through
Taking into account the views of
Delivering action on the ground as
soon as possible.
Meeting current national, regional
and local policy and funding priorities; in order to attract public
sector financial support.
The recommendations in the DTZ report follow two large-scale public
consultation events at Toxteth Town Hall last September, at which
71% of people who completed feedback forms said they were in favour
of the plans.
"The plans are amazing. We are so in
favour of new homes."
► "There seems to have been a good understanding
of community needs and the plans look good."
► "The area
is good, but properties need improvement."
The plans for the Welsh Streets form part of the wider housing
renewal programme in the Princes Park neighbourhood which was
declared in 2005 for a period of up to 10 years. There are 2,500
properties within the renewal area and over 80% of the existing
properties are to be retained.
DTZ is a global leader in the property services field, providing a
range of advice for clients on property development and urban
regeneration. Their report, which has now been published, follows
previous NRA's in 2005 and 2010 which also recommended clearance and
redevelopment for part of the Welsh Streets, with the retention of
most of the stock in the wider Princes Park area.
The full DTZ report can be viewed
within the 'Princes Park' section of the Liverpool