A NEW phone number to report suspected child abuse has been launched by the Isle of Wight Council.
From November 4, the Hantsdirect service will take over as the first point of contact for the public and professionals raising concerns about children or seeking information about children's social care services.
The number has been introduced following Hampshire County Council's takeover of children's services, after a damning Ofsted report last November.
It is hoped it will address Ofsted concerns that calls reporting potential abuse were not handled properly by the Isle of Wight Council.
Cabinet member for children's services Cllr Richard Priest said: "We have made good progress since entering into partnership with Hampshire, although there is still much work to do.
"This latest step is another of the measures we are putting in place to drive up standards and make sure concerns raised by members of the public are responded to appropriately."
From November 4, the 24-hour number, dedicated to children's safeguarding, is 0845 650 0097. Until then Islanders can call (01983) 814374.