South Wales Evening Post ,6 January 2011,BY CHANTELLE REES , 402 words ,© 2011 South Wales Evening Post

CHILD abuse may go undetected due to ‘drastic’ Government budget cuts, a leading politician has claimed.

The worrying statement was made by Llanelli MP Nia Griffith in light of new figures obtained by the Post through the Freedom of Information Act.

The information request revealed that there have been around 1,017 reported cases of child abuse in Carmarthenshire during 2010, with 663 of those reports concerning children and teenagers in Llanelli.

Alarmingly, 79 of reported cases across the county concerned children yet to reach their first birthday — seven more than the previous year.

Ms Griffith said she was worried the situation could get worse.

She said: “These figures highlight the real dangers posed by the drastic cuts that the Government is imposing on the Assembly, council and police budgets.

“It is already difficult to recruit social workers, given the immense pressures that they work under.

“The danger of cuts is that agencies across the board will be increasingly stretched and will not have the time to pick up on children and families at risk, and they simply will not get the support they need.”

Currently, 110 children in Carmarthenshire are on the child protection register.