RESIDENTS concerned about the safety of a child or young person should are being urged to contact a special centre set up by Worcestershire County Council.

The authority's children's access centre is the first port or call for anyone concerned about a youngster, unless they are seriously concerned for their immediate safety in which the police should be contacted on 999.

Calls to the access centre are taken by social workers who give advice and guidance on safeguarding children at risk, are able to decide how best to deal with any concerns and make sure the most vulnerable children get help.

Conservative councillor Liz Eyre, cabinet member for children and families, said: "We take our responsibility for safeguarding children and young people extremely seriously.

"Our centre works closely with other services such as the early help hub and our partners in the NHS and safeguarding board to ensure children and young people get the protection they need, when they need it. Safeguarding our children is everybody's business."

To report a concern, call the centre on 0845 607 2000 Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, or 01905 768020 outside those hours.