ST JOHN’S — Police have blamed the carelessness of parents for the high incidents of children being separated from their guardians during this year’s carnival.
More than 20 children were lost from those supposed to be caring for them, for as long as three hours, on Carnival Tuesday alone.
Public Relations Officer Senior Sergeant William Holder went on to report that the figure for Children’s Carnival was largely the same.
“That was a great concern for the police… We find parents are very careless because if parents have charge over their children then they should have proper control and put measures in place to ensure that children are with them at all times,” Holder said.
Just before the results were being announced on Carnival Tuesday, ahead of the final jump, parents were being sought to collect their children from the Police Post in Carnival City. At least one child was known to be looking for his parents.
At a time where there has been an increase in the number of offences committed against minors, often including sexual abuse, Holder said it was pertinent for parents to keep a watchful eye on their youngsters, especially in crowded areas where they can easily stray into harm’s way unnoticed.
Youngsters separated from adults this year ranged in age from 11 to just five years old. All were eventually returned to their worried guardians.
The law states that parents found to have deliberately neglected their children can be prosecuted. (Antigua Observer)