A teenager was left by his parents on side of the motorway and was forced to walk a mile in pitch black in search for help, police have said.
The 17-year-old was abandoned on the M11, on the side of a motorway in Cambridgeshire before managing to get help.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: "Imagine you are just 17 years old. Imagine being left by your parents at the side of a motorway near a city you’re not familiar with.
"Imagine having to walk a mile at night, on the darkest stretch of that motorway, to the emergency SOS phone to get some help.
"That was the reality for one boy recently on the M11.
"He wasn’t from Cambridgeshire and had no links to here, but he needed our help and we did exactly that.
"Thanks to officers from our Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (CAISU), he was temporarily placed in police protection and is in a safer environment while investigations continue into where he will now be happiest.
"A lot of the work from our CAISU team is sensitive in nature and difficult to share, but examples like this highlight work that goes on behind the scenes and helps highlight our commitment to protecting children – a force priority.
"Do you have concerns about a child?
"You don’t have to be sure, but one call or report could change or even save a life.
"All reports can be made in confidence and can be done anonymously."
"Half a million children a year suffer abuse in the UK." according to the NSPCC.
"In 2021/22, the NSPCC's Helpline contacted agencies about 22,505 children to investigate concerns about abuse and neglect: 8,389 children with concerns of neglect.
"6,441 children with concerns of physical abuse. 4,418 children with concerns of emotional abuse."
They added: "In 2021/22 the NSPCC’s Helpline for adults contacted agencies about 22,505 children to investigate concerns about abuse and neglect - an average of 62 children a day.
"Seven children in a classroom experience abuse before they turn 18. Based on 25.3 percent of 18-24 yr-olds who reported severe maltreatment before the age of 18 (Radford, 2011), and a class size of 26."
If you are a victim of child abuse, or worried for the safety or wellbeing of a child - call 999 now.
Featured Image Credit: Robert Evans / Avalon/Construction Photography / Alamy