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Turner: Home alone cases on the rise

Media Statement
For immediate release
Friday, 01 April 2005

Turner: Home alone cases on the rise

The number of people who have been charged for leaving children without reasonable supervision has more than tripled and convictions have more than doubled since 1994, according to figures obtained by United Future deputy leader Judy Turner.

“These figures are cause for both consolation and concern,” she said.

“On the one hand, the increase may be due to increased reporting by neighbours, family and others, because people are much more prepared to alert authorities to save children from harm - and that has got to be a good thing.

“However, on the other hand, any increase is in itself disturbing and clearly just the tip of the iceberg because these are only the reported cases.”

The number of people charged with leaving children without reasonable supervision has increased from 21 in 1994 to 70 in 2003, the year for which the most recent figures are available. The number of people charged has increased from 17 to 44 over that same period.

“It’s tempting to see these cases in the mould of the classic ‘home alone’ scenario, but they also range from young children being left alone in cars on a hot day, to drunken teenagers out roaming the city streets at night.”

“United Future believes that the Government should play a greater role in not only educating mothers and fathers about parenting skills, but also what their responsibilities are under the law.”

Ends.

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