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Record Number of Reports to Child Protection Services

The first three months of the year have seen a record number of reports to Reykjavík Child Protection Services (CPS). Katrín Helga Hallgrímsdóttir, General Manager of Reykjavík CPS, has told RÚV that raising awareness among institutions and society is critical.

80% increase during the first three months of the year

Reykjavík Child Protection Services (CPS) is currently experiencing a surge in reports, with the first three months of the year setting a record high, RÚV reports. Data from the institution reveals an 80% increase in reports received by the CPS from elementary schools. These figures, pertaining to the period between January and March, highlight the unparalleled volume of reports received by CPS during this three-month timeframe.

“We are now seeing that in the first three months of the year, the number of reports that we’ve received has increased by 20% compared to last year. And that’s quite the increase. Percentage-wise, this is a similar increase, if not greater, than during COVID-19 – and even if we go back as far as the Financial Crisis,” Katrín Helga Hallgrímsdóttir, General Manager of Reykjavík Child Protection Services, told RÚV.

As noted by RÚV, a closer look at the statistics reveals serious ramifications. Specifically, there has been a 64% increase in reports concerning children exhibiting violent behaviour. It is important, however, to note that such cases compose a relatively low percentage of overall cases; out of the 1,400-plus reports received, the total count of reports regarding violent behaviour among children amounts to 97.

From 50-60 reports to 100

“During the first three months of the year, we have received approximately 100 reports concerning children exhibiting violent behaviour, whereas, in the corresponding period of the past four or five years, we typically received 50 to 60 reports,” highlighted Katrín Helga.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that, as indicated by the statistics, reports from schools in Reykjavík to the Child Protection Committee have experienced an 80% increase.

“There is a specific subset of reports that we have been examining for the first three months. We have noticed a significant surge in notifications originating from schools. While we are not yet aware of the precise nature of these reports, we do have the overall count of reports received from schools. It represents an 80% increase for the first three months of this year,” Katrín explained.

RÚV reached out to the School and Recreation Department for a response but was informed that a survey, yet to be completed, had been initiated to delve into the matter.

Those in the immediate environment must be vigilant

In her discussion with RÚV, Katrín Helga emphasised the significance of institutions and society being informed about the alarming increase in these numbers. She noted that the prevalence of violence among young people has been the subject of intense public discourse.

“It is essential to raise awareness about this situation, particularly among individuals who are in close proximity to the children. This way, we can ensure that the children’s issues are addressed as promptly and as closely as possible,” stated Katrín Helga.

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