The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has introduced a new number for people to call and report cases of child abuse.
NSPCC says that it created the new service to combat under reporting; the organisation says that only half of all child abuse cases are reported to the authorities.
"We must pick up on the signs of child abuse as early as possible. Social workers cannot be in the community all the time. By sending a text message the Helpline the public can help be their eyes and ears,” said Sharon Copsey, NSPCC head of service for the South West, during an interview on Pirate FM.
"Our new text service - 88858 - is discreet and only takes a few seconds but it could be the difference between life and death for a child," she added.
When someone sends a message to the new 88858 helpline he or she will be sent a confirmation message. According to NSPCC, the same confirmation message will also encourage the senders to make calls to 0808 800 5000, another helpline number, or the police in case they find out that a child is in immediate physical danger.