260 Teenagers At Risk Of Cruelty In Dorset
7:45am 19th December 2014
260 at risk teenagers in Dorset aren't getting the help and protection they need because of a legal loop-hole in the law, according to The Children's Society.
The charity say at the moment it's impossible to prosecute adults for neglect and ill-treatment of 16 and 17-year olds and the Society wants to see that changed.
In one case, a 16-year old girl died after overdosing when her family had left her with no medical help for three days.
The Society is asking Dorset MPs to close this loophole by extending protections against child cruelty to this age group, when it debates the Serious Crime Bill early in the New Year.
Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society, told Wessex FM: "It is nonsensical and unacceptable that adults cannot be prosecuted for behaviour against children aged 16 or 17 that would be considered cruelty if the victim was 15."
"If MPs are serious about stopping child cruelty - including child sexual exploitation - they must act to close this legal loophole when it is debated in Parliament in the New Year."
They've released figures showing that there's 260 vulnerable young people in Dorset that currently are at risk because of the current legislation.
The Children's Society was founded in 1881 to improve the lives of the children they work with.