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Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

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Re: Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

Post by suzyjohnson on 29.11.14 13:33

@mysterion wrote:I think that it is a crime in the UK to leave a child in an unattended vehicle.

But suppose you witnessed a hit and run, or a car accident, with your child asleep in their car seat in the back of your car? And you were the only witness. Would you leave the injured person lying alone on the road, or in a car? Or leave your car to reassure them help was on it's way? Would it be wise to wake a 2 year old and take them with you in these circumstances? 

What about two children in the back of the car, say aged 9 and 6? Suppose you have run out of petrol and could see the garage a few yards ahead? Suppose your children were aged 11 and 3 and the 3 yr old was asleep?

Is there a difference between leaving your children in the car outside a petrol station (with a long queue to pay) and parking outside a chemist to collect a prescription? Because I've never seen anyone take the children out of the car to go and pay at a petrol station. In fact if you've a few children with you it might be extremely dangerous to do so.

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Re: Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

Post by joyce1938 on 29.11.14 16:54

In news today there was a mother of 6 kids ,left to go to shops ,instead went to Australia to meet a chap she met on line ,the eldest  was 14 years old ,he was left to care for the others . Now I would call that  a crime ,but it seems it has been to court and mother not charged at all ,the background was looked into ,and it appears the kids are well cared for and doing well in school ,so that's the outcome ,now that really makes a lot of parents think ,Well that's o k then . can you believe it ? joyce1938

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Re: Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

Post by PeterMac on 29.11.14 17:10

Just as an interesting aside,
This issue is what TB, himself a qualified Social Worker,  was talking about 7 YEARS ago, and if I remember correctly was one of, if not the original reason for the setting up of the Madeleine Foundation.

It has taken that long for the public and the MSM to realise that the issue is worth discussing.

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Re: Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

Post by suzyjohnson on 29.11.14 20:29

@joyce1938 wrote:In news today there was a mother of 6 kids ,left to go to shops ,instead went to Australia to meet a chap she met on line ,the eldest  was 14 years old ,he was left to care for the others . Now I would call that  a crime ,but it seems it has been to court and mother not charged at all ,the background was looked into ,and it appears the kids are well cared for and doing well in school ,so that's the outcome ,now that really makes a lot of parents think ,Well that's o k then . can you believe it ? joyce1938

No Joyce, the mother was charged and taken to court, she was given a suspended sentence. She has also lost custody of the six children (she is expecting a seventh).

The eldest boy phoned his grandparents when his mother did not return from the shops (the following day) The grandparents then phoned the police. The grandparents collected them and now all six are living with them.

The defence had tried to argue that the children were not too badly affected by what the mother had done, after all they were doing well at school.

In spite of their mother it seems, and not because of.

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Re: Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

Post by Brian Griffin on 29.11.14 20:37

Ah, so if the kids doing well in school it's OK then. After all, they might end up as doctors...and we all know where that can lead...don't we? titter 

In my opinion.

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Re: Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

Post by waiting for justice on 30.11.14 0:10

Just MO but I think comparing leaving kids in a car at a petrol station whilst paying and going out dining etc is absurd. I can think of 2 petrol stations I use where I have had to physically run between the car and the kiosk because it's so busy.
It would be very dangerous if parents were accessing the kiosk with young children in tow, especially at weekends. 

I really think a common sense approach needs to be adopted here before it gets out of hand. There are some truly awful things going on in this country and I don't think calling police to forecourts where the parent would be back in their car and away before they've even left the station is the best use of resources. 
Time would be better spent to get walking lanes put into garages to make it safer for all users. 

I have never heard of a parent being charged with neglect for leaving their kids in a car on a forecourt whilst paying, I could be wrong though but if not, it would indicate it is not neglectful but the lesser of two evils when assessing risk of the situation. Forecourts are loaded with cameras and cars are loaded with security features.

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Re: Daily Mail Debate: Is Leaving a Child Alone a Crime

Post by suzyjohnson on 30.11.14 1:22

@waiting for justice wrote:Just MO but I think comparing leaving kids in a car at a petrol station whilst paying and going out dining etc is absurd. I can think of 2 petrol stations I use where I have had to physically run between the car and the kiosk because it's so busy.
It would be very dangerous if parents were accessing the kiosk with young children in tow, especially at weekends. 

I really think a common sense approach needs to be adopted here before it gets out of hand. There are some truly awful things going on in this country and I don't think calling police to forecourts where the parent would be back in their car and away before they've even left the station is the best use of resources. 
Time would be better spent to get walking lanes put into garages to make it safer for all users. 

I have never heard of a parent being charged with neglect for leaving their kids in a car on a forecourt whilst paying, I could be wrong though but if not, it would indicate it is not neglectful but the lesser of two evils when assessing risk of the situation. Forecourts are loaded with cameras and cars are loaded with security features.

Yes of course it's absurd to compare dining out to leaving children in the car at a petrol station, there's no comparison.

My comparison was between leaving the children in the car at a petrol station and leaving a child in a car outside a chemists while you collect a prescription. Not so much difference there, yet a father was charged with neglect for going to the chemist.

I agree with you it's not always safe to cross a petrol station forecourt, never mind with all your children in tow, and in the case of the chemist, it's kinder to let an ill child rest in the car. As you say that's not neglectful, it's sensible risk assessment. Not the same thing at all as going out for a meal and leaving your children unsupervised.

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