Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Parents arrested for leaving children alone for short periods

"Parents who leave 15-year-old children alone for short periods are being arrested on suspicion of neglect, it has emerged."

"While the majority of cases involve infants, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, have revealed that some of those involved are as old as 15."

"At the moment law on the issue is vague with legislation simply stating that a parent or guardian can be prosecuted if they leave a child unsupervised in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health."

"There is no mention of what age it is deemed safe to leave a young person alone, so when matters are reported it is often left up to the individual officer to make a decision on whether to take action."

"With police action usually triggering intervention from the social services, campaigners are demanding more clarity so parents know where they stand."


"In 2004 Tim Haines from Worcestershire was arrested and charged with neglect after leaving his two-year-old daughter in his car for five minutes as he popped into a chemist."

"He was subsequently convicted at magistrate's court and faced a lengthy battle to stop his five children being taken into care."

"He eventually had the conviction overturned on appeal."

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