A mother in New Zealand is facing public criticism but no police action for leaving her infant child alone in her car with a note that indicated that the mom was inside the nearby store doing her grocery shopping.
The as yet unidentified mother also left a cellphone number visible in case a passer-by noticed that her child needed her attention.
The infant was left alone in the car in a Pak ‘N Save parking lot, causing outcries from many other shoppers that what she did constituted child neglect. Some individuals took photos of the child locked inside the automobile, pictured sleeping under a baby blanket.
The law in New Zealand says that a mother or father is liable to be fined for leaving one of their children alone in a vehicle but since there was no formal complaint of the situation made to local police, they have declined any further investigation.
“I actually think it’s quite terrible,” says mother Kim Howan. “I’ve got four in there, not my own, but [I] took them in, just to get bacon. It takes 20 minutes longer, but they’re safe.”
Other mothers were more sympathetic of the note-writing mother, saying that she made provisions for her child by leaving a note with her phone number atop the sleeping baby.
“She did the best she thought in the situation by leaving a note,” says mum Danielle Crooks. “There’s probably plenty of kids that get left in the car that you don’t know about without notes.”
Police in Porirua indicate that there are an increasing number of situations such as these occurring at retail parking lots but most police simply give the offending parent a stern warning.
Mixed reaction to baby left in car