Research by the charity's helpline service has shown that 56 per cent of the calls they receive to report child abuse are from people who had been concerned about the child's welfare for over a month.

The findings have prompted the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to launch a new campaign entitled "Don't Wait", urging the public to call their helpline on 0808 800 5000 if they have any concerns about a child's wellbeing, no matter how minor they may seem.

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulous said: "We know that one in five children  experience severe abuse or neglect at some point in their childhood and the impact of abuse can be profound.

"This new report highlights the reality that children are suffering [for longer] because adults are waiting too long to report their concerns. We are hopeful that this campaign will further break down the barriers that prevent people from contacting the NSPCC, and in doing so will help protect more children."

The NSPCC held a "day in the life of the helpline" event on Twitter yesterday [23 Mar] the results of which you can read here as well as offering Facebook users the chance to donate their status to the campaign.

TV presenter Kate Garraway has also given her support to the campaign and said: Very few people would walk by if they saw a child in danger and most people who suspect abuse or neglect do intend to do something - but sadly many wait far too long.

"They may not be sure, may not want to interfere in case they get an innocent person 'in trouble' or may worry that someone will find out who reported it. But the NSPCC's trained counsellors are available 24/7 to listen to the public's concerns, and people don't have to say who they are - the NSPCC can take responsibility so they don't have to."

For more information visit www.nspcc.org.uk and to contact NSPCC's free 24-hour helpline call 0808 800 5000, text 88858 or email help@nspcc.org.uk and remember DON'T WAIT.

Posted 24/03/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com