Derbyshire parents arrested for leaving children home alone

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Eight Derbyshire parents were arrested for leaving their children home alone in the last three months of 2014, shock statistics show.

The data reveals Derbyshire was a hotspot for such arrests during the three-month period.

Only West Yorkshire, Kent and Thames Valley police made more home alone arrests.

The figures from forces across England and Wales was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Nationally, at least 105 mothers and fathers faced criminal investigations for leaving their children unsupervised over the three-month period.

Cases involved children aged from just a few weeks to 14-years-old.

The law does not specify an age at which parents can leave children alone – but those who do can be arrested and prosecuted for cruelty and neglect if it places them at risk.

Chris Cloke, head of child protection awareness at the NSPCC, said: “Although there’s no legal minimum age for leaving children at home alone, nobody should leave a child unattended if they think they’ll be at risk.

“And it’s never acceptable to leave babies and very young children on their own for any length of time.

“Children mature at different rates so it’s vital we have a common sense approach that ensures flexibility for parents as they are best-placed to know what is right for their child.

“Ideally, parents should check that their children are happy and confident to be left at home alone and know what to do in an emergency.”