Law

Don’t be cruel

This story is just jaw-dropping. I think one might quite justifiably wonder if the country’s social services are being run by lunatics.

According to the BBC:

A mother-of-three from the Thames Valley area has been cautioned by police after leaving her 14-year-old son at home with his little brother.

Sources quoted in the Sunday Times are reported as saying the mother, in her 40s, was away for 30 minutes, the time passed without “incident” and the toddler was never in any danger.

The story reported in The Express tells us:

Although there was no “incident” and they were not believed to be in danger, the mother was cautioned by officers for “committing an act of cruelty on a child or young person.”

She has also remained suspended from her job in the Thames Valley since September 2009 because the caution is revealed under Criminal Records Bureau checks.

So in short, a woman who asked her teenage son to watch his little brother while she nipped out to the shops has lost her job and been branded as someone who is “cruel to children”.

The one question that remains unanswered is how – since there was no incident and none of her children were in any danger – the police got involved in the first place?

One is inclined to think that there must be more to the story, but it turns out that this incident is by no means unique. In separate incidents, two nurses have been banned from working with children for similar reasons. The Telegraph suggests there are thousands of similar cases. The sick joke is that there isn’t even a law regarding this. It is not illegal to have a teenager babysit. The de facto criminalising of this age-old practice it seems has simply come about by the making of policy by unnamed people in law enforcement and social services. Victims of this outrageous policy are now considered as bad as murderers and rapists – who are also banned from working with children and whose names appear on the blacklist alongside theirs on the Criminal Bureau database.

Where did this meddling hysteria come from?

When I was a child, my older cousins or older children of neighbours were drafted in to babysit. When I was older, I would keep an eye on the neighbour’s children if she had to run errands. We all survived. There was no cruelty.

The only cruelty in this case if allowing a mother-of-three to lose her job.

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