Published: 11:30, 15 July 2020
| Updated: 11:32, 15 July 2020
By Lucy Williamson
Deliveroo riders across Kent will be on the lookout for signs of child abuse as they deliver hot dishes to customers’ doors.
The food delivery service has partnered with the NSPCC in a bid to help identify those who are at risk but may be hidden due to the coronavirus lockdown,
Rosie Duffield, MP for Canterbury, has backed the scheme.
“Rates of abuse have soared during lockdown and much of it, with children away from school, is going unspotted and unreported," she said.
"Any training which helps people spot signs and ‘red flags’ of abuse is welcome and the partnership between Deliveroo and the NSPCC is to be applauded.
“After lockdown it is clear that the government is going to have to massively increase the funding for social services to deal with many of the problems that summer 2020 has hidden away."
The riders' role delivering to people’s homes means they are “well-placed to spot any emerging safeguarding concerns”, according to the NSPCC.
But one cyclist in Canterbury said his interaction with families outside their doors is limited.
“They open the door, take the food - you don’t really see anyone," he said.
"A child is very unlikely to be at the door. Whether the training will help will depend on whether it is tailored to our needs”.
A spokesperson for Kent County Council's safeguarding team says they have “for some time been working with district and borough councils to educate other workers such as taxi drivers on the signs of abuse".
If you are worried about a child’s wellbeing, the NSPCC is available on 0808 800 5000.
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