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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9890
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I just come back from shop .Have twin boys age 4 year old

Customer Question

Hi.I just come back from shop .Have twin boys age 4 year old with me as I pick them up from Nursary.They been on forest today so when they went in car,they go sleep strait away.Have park car close to shop,in car park and went buy shoes for my daughter.I have look in Internet before I went to shop so I can just grab them and go.When I come back women seating next in car start shouting that's it's illegal to leave kids in car and she call police and social worker on me.I tolt her that I don't know about this law ,she was swear at me.So I tell her to not swear on me !she start again .So I just start a car and go.It was 15 min its,no more then that and I never know about law.Iam always take my kids with me that was first time,Iam very upset don't know what to do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

There is no statutory age to leave a child on their own but it an offence if it places the child at risk. The government have a website on the subject.

https://www.gov.uk/law-on-leaving-your-child-home-alone

It’s not good practice to leave children alone in a car because something could have happened while you were away, you could have been an accident or the car could have been stolen. It has happened.

The way that the law would look at this is that at four years of age, whilst the children may not have been capable of starting the car with no keys in the ignition, they may have released the handbrake or something like that or opened the windows leaving them vulnerable.

There is very little chance that you will be prosecuted for this although you may get a visit from the police and/or social services if this lady does make that telephone call, but it would be to tell you not to do it again.

As the children were alone in, there is a slim possibility that you would be prosecuted for leaving someone in charge of the car who didn’t have a licence. However it is a slim possibility if the children were on the back seat.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.

FES

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for that.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

I am glad to help. Best wishes.