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18 December 2017, 06:00
A child abuse helpline referred more than 250 calls to police in Scotland over the last year.
NSPCC Scotland revealed 265 cases were passed on to authorities in 2016/17, up from 187 in the previous year.
There were also a further 167 contacts where helpline staff gave advice about sexual abuse against young people.
The figures form part of a total of 4,677 referrals made UK-wide last year, up from 3,578 in 2015/16.
The charity has launched a 'Light Up Christmas for Children' appeal to help vulnerable young people over the festive period.
John Cameron, head of helplines at the NSPCC said: ''It is deeply worrying that so many children are potentially being exposed to such a devastating experience, but at the same time it also suggests that as a society we are much more alert to the risks and much more willing to come forward and share our concerns.
''Sexual abuse can do huge damage to a child's life and left untreated will often haunt them long into adulthood.
''It is therefore vital that anyone who suspects a young person is in danger contacts the authorities or gets in touch with us through our dedicated helpline.''