Is it ever right to leave kids as young as five at home alone?
Do you think it is ever ok to leave children alone at home? And did you know there is no official age children have to be to be left alone in the house.
Despite this, parents are still being arrested every year for the crime. The youngest child to be left alone being just six weeks, and the oldest 15-year-old.
The research was provided by 11 police forces across England at the request of BBC Breakfast.
The law currently states that a child should never be left at home if they would be ‘at risk’ but there is currently no set age for this.
The NSPCC received around 2,500 calls last year from people concerned about children being left unsupervised, the majority of these calls being made during school holidays. But should the laws be made more specific for parents?
For example Tim Haines was arrested when he left his young daughter in the car for no more than 5 minutes whilst he ran into the chemist. The case was later dismissed in court but he explained how the incident left his life in turmoil for over a year and a half.
The NSPCC advises that no child under the age of 12 should be left alone for a ‘long time’ and under 16’s shouldn’t be left alone overnight.
There is currently a Justice for Families campaign being lead by former Lib Dem MP John Hemming which is fighting for more clarity to be made within the law. Mr Hemming says that many of the 510 people arrested would have been unaware of any possibility of danger and claimed it cause a huge disruption to their family.
But do you agree there should be more specific laws to avoid parents being wrongfully arrested? Or should there be no instance when a child under 12 should be left alone even for 5 minutes.