Concerns after children are left alone in St Albans car park
Three children believed to be under five were left alone in a car park for more than 50 minutes after their mother abandoned them unattended in a vehicle.
Four women, one of whom contacted the Herts Advertiser, were distressed to find the children after coming across them in the Maltings multi-storey.
Sammy Evans, 45, of Park Street, was with her carer on Tuesday December 16 when they came across two women who were concerned about the children being alone.
After waiting 25 minutes, one of the women contacted the parking staff through the buzzer on the ticket machine, at which point they were told about an understaffing issue.
The women then contacted the police, who took over the situation until the parent returned nearly 25 minutes after the women left.
She said: “Clearly no parent was watching at any point or they would have seen their young son open the door to complete strangers when one of the ladies asked to speak to him.
“Thankfully she was a good Samaritan but what if she’d been a kidnapper?
“To those parents, I hope you didn’t blame your children.
“I hope you didn’t tell your eldest off for being a good boy and responding to a kind lady and police officer’s request to speak to him.
“The blame and responsibility lies with you. I do hope your Christmas shopping was worth the stress you caused three poor children, four caring ladies - not to mention police time.
“Having had three kids in tow many times, I know there’s no justification whatsoever for such blatant neglect of parental responsibility.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Officers spoke with the mother and established that no offences had been committed and the family went on their way.
“At no time were the children in distress.”
The Herts Advertiser believes details of the case have since been passed on to the relevant authorities which officers have a remit to do.
In a high-profile case, Tim Haines, of Worcestershire, was prosecuted for ‘wilful exposure of a child to risk of significant harm’ and all his children were placed on the child protection register when he left his two year old in the car for five minutes to buy a bottle of Calpol at the chemist.
It took the family nearly a year to have their children’s names removed from the register and Mr Haines finally had his conviction overturned on appeal.