Gardai in Co Donegal have warned parents that they will “act accordingly” if they find young children playing alone on the street.
The warning comes following reports that children as young as 3 years old are being left unsupervised on housing estates in some towns.
A Garda spokesperson said that while the weather is good and children like to play outside during school holidays, they must be safeguarded.
A statement from Donegal Gardai said that to leave a young child unattended for even one minute may lead to an abduction or traffic accident.
A spokesperson said “Gardaí have received worrying reports lately in relation to very young children being left outside unattended in their housing estates to play.
“We take reports such as these extremely seriously and any similar matters reported to us or that we come across whilst on patrol will be investigated in conjunction with TUSLA (the child and family agency).
“Gardaí have an obligation to report all matters of suspected child neglect or suspected abuse to Tusla who are the state agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children.
“We understand that the weather is good and children are on their holidays, of course they want outside to play but they need to be supervised in some manner.”
The spokesperson added that if the child is of an adequate age whereby they can play close to the home with others without an adult at their side but still within viewing distance then that is a decision for the parents.”
But the garda added “The risk of a child being abducted or struck by traffic within the estate is too high to let a young child outside unsupervised for even a minute. Common sense should be the guide in cases such as these.”
The spokesperson added that if Gardai come across young children whom they feel are in danger while on patrols then they will “act accordingly.”Tags: