Scottish govt asks neighbours to expose drunks and druggies

January 6th, 2008 - 5:44 pm ICT by admin  

London, Jan 6 (ANI): Scottish government has asked its residents to expose their neighbours to police and social workers if they suspect they are neglecting their children because of drug addiction or alcohol abuse.

The major new campaign is to be launched next month.

The officials want people to use a new dedicated national phoneline, linked to the authorities.

These authorities may visit the affected families and take their children away if they are deemed to be in danger.

Such a plan is being put to action because of the figures showing that as many as 60,000 Scottish children currently live with drug abusers. A further 100,000 are believed to be living with parents with an alcohol problem.

In a bid to emphasise the scale of the problem, ministers want to brand the new phoneline the fourth emergency number, alongside police, fire and ambulance services.

Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing justified that phoneline was a fourth emergency

“If a heroin addict is down to his last 10 pounds, he will spend it on drugs and not food for his children. That is the tragic reality, the Scotsman quoted Ewing, as saying.

He added: “Everyone is aware of the risks of fire, emergency health problems or crime being committed, but where is the means for the public to communicate their most serious concerns about the plight of a child? Is this not a fourth type of emergency? This is one of the most serious problems that Scotland faces and we must deal with it.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “In February we will be launching a national advertising campaign for the 24-hour gateway line to local child protection services, CPLine. The campaign will have a community focus, using local press and radio across the country to raise awareness that child protection is everybody’s business.

“The campaign will encourage people to report concerns about a child being neglected or abused, including any concern about children affected by their parents’ alcohol or drug misuse, she added. (ANI)

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