'My mum's doing the shopping': Picture of sleeping baby left in locked car with note provokes fury in New ZealandNote written from baby's perspective and included a phone numberIt read: 'My mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything'A shocked passer-by spotted the infant in a supermarket car parkPhoto was posted Facebook and attracted thousands of comments
But police will not be investigating because no one has reported it
10:56 GMT, 25 March 2013
23:24 GMT, 25 March 2013
A mother has provoked anger in New Zealand by leaving her newborn baby alone in a locked vehicle outside a supermarket with a note explaining that she had gone shopping.
The message, written from the baby's perspective, included the women's mobile number and urged people to call her if necessary.
A shocked passer-by had photographed the sleeping infant, visible through the window, on Saturday.
Fury: A mother has sparked anger in New Zealand by leaving her sleeping baby alone in a locked car outside a supermarket with a note explaining that she had gone shopping and urging people to call her if necessary
It read: 'My mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything.'
The man who spotted the note after parking with his family next to the car said: 'We waited there for a little bit, wondering if the mum was just going to be two seconds and come back.'
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, he added: 'My wife said, I'm not going in without someone being here with the baby.'
Two other passers-by agreed to wait by the vehicle in the Pak 'n Save car park in Porirua after one of them phoned the mother and told her to come back.
The youngster was sat in a baby seat, wearing a warm hat and wrapped in a pink blanket.
The picture was put on Facebook by radio DJ Polly Gillespie and attracted nearly 1,500 comments in 24 hours.
Facebook user Cat Marie Horne wrote:
'I'm sorry this is completely irresponsible! You do not leave children
under the age of 14 unsupervised at all.
Left alone: Pak 'n Save in Porirua where the baby was locked alone in a parked car while its mother shopped
'Why did she have time to write a
note Secondly, you do not put a capsule seat in the front of a car,
due to dashboard airbags. Also, if you are that tired you should not be
But another commentator, Linda Gill,
said: 'It's not something I would have done but I choose not to come on
here and condemn her.
'It's very easy to come on here and cast
judgement on others, because I'm sure you've never, ever done anything
wrong in your lives.
Inaction: New Zealand police have not launched an investigation because it is yet to receive a complaint
'The difference is someone took a photo this time. Aren't you all glad that someone isn't following you around with a camera. (Aimed at no one in particular, just food for thought).'
The supermarket's compliance manager, Marty Fryer, said he was not aware of what happened until someone alerted him to it yesterday.
He added: 'We have staff in the car park so if they saw something like a baby in a car
they would bring it to our attention.'
A parent or guardian who leaves a child under the age of 14 alone for an unreasonable time or in unreasonable conditions, could be fined up to NZ$2,000 (1,000).
Police have said it was a dangerous thing to do and the women could be prosecuted but they have not received any reports of the incident.
A spokeswoman for the force said: 'We don't know who the people are, we don't know the phone number, we don't know where to start.
'We would launch an investigation if we could but at this stage no one's come forward.'
Plunket National Child Safety adviser Sue Campbell said there are significant risks with leaving a baby or young child alone in a car.
She explained: 'Babies can dehydrate quickly and become very distressed. So for a newborn that's one of the key issues.
'Plus there's a security issue – a small baby is unable to defend itself if need be, or call for help, or anything like that.'