According to a recent article in The Independent, a mother from Scarborough was approached by police officers who had received an anonymous 999 call saying that her baby looked cold.
Paula Andrews was playing on the seafront at Scarborough with her nine months old daughter when two officers pulled up and questioned her as to whether her daughter was cold. She was also asked for her name and address, which she refused to give.
Ms Andrews said that she and her daughter had only been out for about ten minutes, and stated that she was shocked that the police had responded so quickly to an anonymous 999 call on the matter. She said “It can take up to an hour for the police to turn up if I call in complaining about yobs at the back of my house – and sometimes they don’t attend at all, but an anonymous call [about a baby without a coat] can send them racing to the promenade.”
She also added that her daughter had been wearing woollen tights, a vest, leggings and a fleecy top at the time. She is said to have told the officers who asked for her details that it was a mother’s right to play with her child, and then she walked away. She said “I know what is normal and a child playing out on a cold day is not unhealthy in any way.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said “All reports concerning the safety of children are taken very seriously by North Yorkshire Police and must be properly checked out. If Ms Andrews has any concerns about the way this incident was dealt with we would encourage her to get in touch, so we can discuss the matter with her”
However, Stephen Hayes (a former detective who is the author of ‘The Biggest Gang in Britain’) said that it was “bonkers that police time can be wasted by anonymous calls about children possibly being a bit chilly.”
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