A national crime prevention charity is urging youngsters to ensure their pals aren’t victims of neglect over the summer holidays.
Crimestopper’s youth programme Fearless has launched its “Look Out” campaign, encouraging youngsters to recognise warning signs of harm among their mates.
Although the final school bell of the year is often a time of celebration for pupils across Scotland, it can have a negative impact on other more vulnerable children, where the care of teachers and school staff is not available.
To help protect kids across Scotland, the new campaign is encouraging pupils to speak out if they see their friends have unexplained bruises, are unusually hungry, or display other indicators they are not being looked after properly.
Children concerned for the wellbeing of their friends will be able to give information to authorities anonymously on the website www.fearless.org
Lyndsay McDade, senior young projects officer for Fearless said: “Friends are vital in spotting the signs of harm and neglect amongst their peers, but often don’t know what to do to support them, or just don’t feel they can get involved.
“Fearless provides a safe and anonymous place for young people to tell us when they have concerns about a young person who is being harmed or neglected.
“Everyone who contacts us stays 100% anonymous – always.”
Other signs that a child could be facing troubles at home include being unclean, being sleepy, or being left alone in their house for lengthy periods of time.
Community safety minister Ash Denham MSP said: “For most children and young people, the summer holidays are a time of fun with family and friends, however for some this break from school and routine brings an increased risk of harm and neglect.
“I encourage all young people to learn how to spot the signs of neglect, and look out for their friends.
“Fearless offers young people a totally anonymous and safe way to speak up about harm they know of, or suspect.”
Any child who feels they are a victim of abuse, harm or neglect can call Childline on 0800 1111.