If a member of the public or a [practitioner]](#tooltip) has reasonable cause to suspect that a child, including an unborn child, is at risk the report must be made as soon as possible to the local authority. However, if there are immediate concerns about a child’s safety or a criminal offence against a child, they must contact the emergency services without delay to protect the child/children from the risk of serious harm.
Example: A health visitor calls at a flat and a child, who says they are four years old, comes to the door and tells the health visitor she is on her own with her baby sister and does not know when mummy and daddy will be back. – the Health Visitor must immediately contact the police
If in doubt as to whether an offence has occurred, seek advice from the police.