Alarm at child abuse trend

The Press 20/05/2010

Brutal attacks on young children are on the rise in Canterbury, police say. Canterbury District crime manager Detective Inspector Peter Read said attacks on children were becoming harsher. “The physical abuse we’re seeing is becoming more serious, especially involving young children,” he said. Police were seeing more “broken bones” and “severe bruising”, he said. The Christchurch child protection team, based in Papanui, operates a shared office with Child, Youth and Family (CYF).

So far this year, the team has investigated 149 cases. In 2009, it dealt with 409 cases. “We’ve got a staff of 13 and that’ll soon be increasing to 15. And there is a CYF person in the office,” Read said. “CYF people take care of victims’ needs and the police take care of the investigation process and pushing the offender through court, if that is required.” Most cases were sexual, he said.