A total of 63 people were arrested for child neglect during 2018, as the force admitted the offence is "not a problem solely found in disadvantaged areas".
Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic needs – leaving a child hungry, dirty, without adequate clothing or shelter, leaving a child unsupervised for long periods of time or without medical attention if needed.
Neglect can cause significant long term harm and can lead to a child experiencing mental and physical issues well into adulthood.
By experiencing neglect as a child, the effects can stay with the victim, leading to an inability to form and maintain healthy relationships with their own families and children and can lead to drug and alcohol dependency.
Detective Inspector Shaun Page of the North Yorkshire Police Vulnerability Assessment Team said: “Child neglect is sadly something that we do deal with on a regular basis in North Yorkshire. It is not a problem that is solely found in disadvantaged areas.
“Cases of child neglect are never straight forward and often we find other problems in the family unit, such as domestic abuse, drug abuse and alcoholism. So our response is very often a multi-agency response, where not only the child will require safeguarding and support, but potentially other members of the family too.”
“The nature of the crime means that the neglect is usually hidden behind closed doors. However, if members of the public are aware of some of the tell-tale signs and are able to spot them and make a report to police, it enables us reach out to the children and families who so desperately need our help."
People are encouraged to look out for signs of child neglect.
Children who are being neglected may have poor appearance or personal hygiene and may also have health or development issues.
If you have any suspicions that a child near you is being neglected, call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and pass on the information.
You can also report your concerns to the NSPCC via their helpline 0808 800 5000, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or online at https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/report-abuse.