THE number of allegations of child abuse has soared in the past four years.

Between 2010 and 2011 there were 16 reports made to child safeguarding organisations in Brighton and Hove. A year later, there were 112 recorded, 184 in 2012 to 2013, and 221 between 2013 and 2014, a report has revealed.

In the most recent figures, there were 26 sexual abuse claims, 36 physical allegations and ten concerns about neglect raised in the annual report published by the Brighton and Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Most concerns were raised through schools and nurseries and 124 of the 221 complaints were substantiated.

On investigation, 32 of the reports were unfounded, where evidence decided the allegation was mistaken, and 57 were unsubstantiated, with insufficient evidence to make a ruling.

Only two resulted in a conviction, while 47 were investigated by police. There were 119 internal investigations.

The report said better safeguarding and reporting systems contributed to the rise.

Graham Bartlett, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board, said complacency was dangerous and there needed to be a constant strive to better protect children.

He said: “Whether you are a professional, parent, volunteer or none of those we all have a responsibility to ensure children have the best start in life, growing up happy and safe.”

The report was compiled after working with Brighton and Hove City Council, fire services, the police, NHS and others.

It said 148 children were subject of the protection plan where domestic violence or abuse was raised as a concern, and also said it was developing a strategy to help missing children and protect girls against female genital mutilation.