A person standing in front of a television

Description automatically generated
I’m afraid it’s bad news…that we’ve chosen for you…this morning. The SNP manifesto launch looks a bit too cheery.

Headlining all day today on BBC Scotland, to boost your anxiety levels, and keep you reluctant to consider change of any kind, we heard:

‘Offences of child cruelty and neglect recorded by police in Scotland increased by 28% in the past year according to the NSPCC.’

There were 818 reports of child neglect or cruelty in 2018/2019, compared to 640 in the previous year.

No explanation for the increase was offered though greater public awareness and pressure on families leading to higher reporting levels has been suggested elsewhere (below).

We, of course, didn’t hear how these figures compare with those across the UK.

In Belfast Telegraph today:

Police recorded 500 cases of adults neglecting, mistreating or assaulting children last year – up from 184 in 2013/14.

Northern Ireland has around one third of the population of Scotland so, all things being equal, might be expected to have 272 cases. It had 500 so the level of child cruelty there seems to be nearly twice as high as in Scotland.

Across the UK, officers recorded more than 20,000 cases last year, according to the NSPCC.

Scotland has around one twelfth of the population of the UK so might be expected, all things being equal to have 1 666 cases but had 818 so the level of child cruelty across the UK seems to be more than twice as high as in Scotland.

The NSPCC said there were several potential reasons for the rise in child cruelty and neglect crimes, from greater public awareness to greater pressures on families.


While we always treat statistics with a degree of caution this is a significant difference. What might be causing it? Like all social phenomena the factors contributing will be many and complex, but is the relative lack of religious belief in Scotland a key one? The 2011 Census revealed Scotland to be the least ‘Christian’ part of the UK:

A close up of a map

Description automatically generated
Makes you proud doesn’t it?


This might be of interest:


You think that was sad? We’ve got dead babies and worse for you soon.