Two police officers, fearing a newborn had been left abandoned by a depressed mother, broke the window of a car to rescue the baby. But all wasn’t as it seemed…
In Australia, authorities rescue thousands of children left in cars every year. And we’ve all heard the heartbreaking stories of what happens when help is too late. The increased awareness has created a heightened sense of community responsibility, with onlookers often calling on police to help children left alone in cars.
Such was the case in the UK recently, when two Dudley police officers were called to Russells Hall Hospital, amid fears someone had left a newborn baby locked in a car.
According to a post on the West Midlands Police Facebook page, “Wrapped tightly in a blanket and with its face and arms covered, the duo feared that a depressed new mother had left her ‘baby’.”
“Rapid checks were made to try and trace the owner of the car while officers checked to see if a PA system was available in the hospital to ask the owner to return to the blue Vauxhall Corsa.”
Time was ticking, and the officers acted – breaking a small, rear window on the car so they could gain entry.
The West Midlands Police post goes on to reveal what the officers discovered:
“We think the officers did the right thing when faced with what they genuinely believed was a baby, alone and critically ill in a locked car on the hospital’s car park. The extremely life-like doll was wrapped in a kiddies blanket with only the top of its head exposed. The colouration of the head appeared discoloured giving the highly experienced officers additional cause for alarm.”
West Midlands Police says that there’s no suggestion that there was any mischief involved in placing the doll in the car, so they will pay to replace the cost of the window. The police have apologised to the car’s owner, who understands why the officers did what they did.
“She will hopefully agree that had it have been a baby in distress and had they not acted, they would be subject of this scrutiny for all the wrong reasons.”
The owner of the doll, 10-year-old Janaih Rattray, had left the doll in her sister Delesia’s car.
Delesia told the Daily Mail, “I can understand why they broke into the car if they really thought there was a baby inside.”
The Facebook post went on to ask if the public believes the officers did the right thing, and the overwhelming majority of responses supported the police response:
(Images courtesy West Midlands Police)