Dad's fury as police grill him for leaving son asleep in car while he 'picked up pizza'

POLICE officers grilled a dad for leaving his young son asleep in his car while he picked up a takeaway pizza.

The man was stopped by cops after they spotted his vehicle straddling the pavement in Derbyshire with an unattended child snoozing inside.

He insisted he would only been gone "for a minute" to collect his food from a local restaurant – but cops ordered him to go back for his kid.

They later warned it was part of a "troublesome trend" with "irresponsible" parents frequently leaving their youngsters unsupervised while they run errands.

A spokesperson for Etwall, Hatton and Hilton Police Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "Would you put your child at risk for the sake of a kebab or chippy tea?

"With keen disappointment, your SNT have observed a troublesome trend of parents leaving unattended young children in parked cars – often with a key in the ignition and the engine running.

"When challenged by officers, many of the motorists excused their conduct, stating that they were simply collecting fast food or completing an essential errand.

"Worse still, the adults-in-charge appeared totally bamboozled when officers explained the unintended consequences and dangers of their actions."

They continued: "Two weeks ago whilst on routine patrol, an officer noted a driver jumping out of a car, which was jettisoned on a pavement.

"Walking away from the vehicle, it appeared that the man must have forgotten to take the sleeping young child, sat in the back of the vehicle, with him.

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"Naturally, the officer stopped and pointed out the error of judgement.

"Ridiculously, the man attempted to justify his behaviour by explaining that he’d only be away from his car for a minute, as he was in a rush to collect a pizza from a local restaurant.

"The gentleman was told to return to his car and take his son with him."

Officers also highlighted a similar incident last year when a young child was left in a Renault Laguna parked on double yellow lines, adjacent to a zebra crossing, with the engine running.

The driver was hit with a police notice and warned his vehicle would be seized if he was caught doing the same, or similar, again.

And earlier this month, police patrolling the streets found a lone van driver staring into the window of a car parked on the pavement on double yellow lines in a South Derbyshire village.

On closer inspection, an officer found there was a unattended child sitting in the vehicle – and the engine was still running.

When the parent emerged from a nearby takeaway, he was given a good talking to and a safeguarding referral was completed.

Officers are now reminding parents to take their youngsters with them when picking up fast food or running errands.

"Children under 12 are seldom developed enough to be let alone, even for short periods of time, and it is very irresponsible of adults to leave them in cars with the engine running," police added.

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