Child neglect will be prosecuted, say police

| 20/07/2010

(CNS): Police are warning parents and care-givers who leave children unattended throughout the school holidays that they could end up in court facing charges of neglect. Detective Inspector Christsandra Mitchell of the RCIPS Family Support Unit said: “We have been made aware that some children are being dropped off at local libraries in the mornings, in some instances before the libraries are open for businesses. Some are also being left in these buildings as late as 5.00 p.m., without food or any contact information for parents or care-givers.”

The RCIPS will be following up on every complaint received. We are asking library staff and other members of the community to be vigilant and report any incident or concern you may have regarding the welfare or well-being of a child – whether the child is in a public place or at home alone.

“Many parents/caregivers are seemingly not aware that these infrequent periods of abandonment can lead to criminal investigation,” said DI Mitchell. “The RCIPS will make every effort to bring before the courts persons who neglect children, who it is their duty to protect, to face the consequences of their actions that may amount to a criminal charge.”

Anyone who has any concerns should report the matter to their local policestation or the Family Support Unit on 946-9185.

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  1. I remember when I was about 8 or 9 (I lived with my parents and my siblings on Crewe Road, what a different time it was back then some 15-20 years ago.

    During the summer vacation my mother would drop me off at the library once a week (she’d give me $5 for lunch and strict instructions on where I was to get my lunch from)  I would BEG her to let me go to the library more often (but she wouldnt) and it was never a problem.  It was never neglect.  Every week I went, she’d call the library and ask if i was ok, and the librarian (I can’t remember her name now) would say, "Yes Ma’am Mrs Smalldon, she’s fine" and then after she’d come over and ask me if there was anything else I wanted to read.  I must have gone through ALL the books in the childrens section!  And when I got bored, I asked the librarian if I could help put the books back on the shelf.  and do you know, I was always pretty much the only kid there.  My father was a police officer and my mom astay at home mom and we had a helper who helped with us and the household work, yet i still went to the library 1 day every week on my own.

    There were a lot of church camps that I went to in the summer as well, and it kept me occupied.  There were days when my mom would ask if i wanted to go to the beach and then take me and my friends to the beach for the day.  and days when I’d go over to a friends house for the day to play.

    Back in those days, parents helped each other out.  community spirit was high.

    I think it would be a great idea to have a few places where kids can be dropped off (like day camp).  What about the schools assembly halls?  they aren’t being used in the summer time when school is closed.  there must be enough people on that Island willing to volunteer some time each week to run activities for kids?  If I lived over there i’d be happy to run a club such as this.

    One summer my cousin and I got volunteer jobs at the National Trust, we did a whole working day, 5 days a week for the whole summer and it was great.  can parents not get their kids into places that might need a bit of extra help?  i’m sure the local businesses would be grateful.

    I understand that sometimes parents have to work and have no choice for childcare and in the school vacations this becomes a problem, but there must be other sources out there.  leaving your kids at home alone all day, or at the beach all day, or the library or skate park all day cannot be the only option that parents have.  especially with no food, nor money to buy any food.  I can understand that parents would leave their kids at the library, but I cannot understand why they wouldnt leave them without any money or food.






  2. Anonymous says:

    how about the kids left all day at the brick house/ dog house/ black pearl skate park?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Another suggestion, since the Dept. of Sports is offering "Free" Sporting Camps, perhaps parents that do not have a sporting inclined child, should get together with other parents and take turns during the summer and create perhaps a ‘FREE’ cooking club, a sewing club, reading club, art club, fitness club, movie club, bible club or a positive social club(without cell phones & computers). Be creative parents and take turn in supervising these clubs and become that "Positive" role model to your child.  Remember you are the parent, be stern, give them tough love and be the parent.  The child needs to learn that first and then YOU respect your child and in turn YOUR child will respect you.  Thats important!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Every child in Cayman from 0 – 18, should be the responsibility of the parents, not the schools, the libraries, the sport venues, the cinemas or other people’s homes.  They should be supervised with their activities, their social networkings, their electronics and within their homes and communities. Too many times parents leave their children alone with a cell phone, a computer, a TV and sometimes a helper.  Now you tell me how is it a helper suppose to completely supervise a child with a ‘tanny load’ of washing, cleaning, cooking, dog walking and other disgusting househole duties to do?  Who is checking out the clothes closets, the windows, under the bed, the cars in the neighbourhood ,when these little girls heats up and wants a boy/man? Look around and see whom these little girls are attracting, its not the type that any decent mother wants around their child, they are ‘riff raffs’ looking for decent girls to steal from their parents to feed their drug habits and the little girls are submitting themselves willingly to them.  They are harbouring them around your homes, yes parents while you are at work.  These are the generation of "wipers" as the old folks use to warn us about.  Please parents, take the Cell phones away, take the BBM, the Chats and other social networking sites away from your young child, these are dangerous tools that attract criminals. Spend more time with your children, talking to them, watching a movie with them, playing with them, debating with them, sightseeing with them, cooking with them, sporting with them and you will see a difference with your child.  Remember you brought them in to this world, YOU are responsible for them, put YOUR wants on the back burner, until they are off to College.  Its worth it. I did it with my two children and trust me, there were trying times, I felt like a stalker, but today they are thanking me for being there ALL the way and if you listen to their views today on the plight of the young people, I hear an ECHO!  Its worth it parents, this is the BIGGEST Investment you can make in life, other than serving God. BE A RESPONSIBLE PARENT!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you 100%.

      This is some very useful advice for all parents. There is no excuse to abandoming your responsibilities as a parent.

    • Parent says:

      While I agree that our children are definitely our responsibilities, you do realize that someone has to also work and pay the bills? Some people unfortunately do not have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom. I have observed particularly in this society a lot of single moms (whether it was by choice or their boyfriend/husband abandoned them, they are still single moms) who have to work to provide for the child.

      I agree that although the mother has to work it doesn’t mean she has to be irresponsible but I was intrigued when you mentioned people leaving their children with helpers, so where else are they going to leave them while they are at work? At the library?

      Not all helpers are hired for the purpose of "washing, cleaning, cooking, dog walking and other disgusting household duties", some helpers are hired specifically to watch the children during the times theparent has to work and maybe some washing, ironing and cooking but their main duty is the children. Again this does not mean that the parent completely neglect their duty as a parent, once they are not working they should spend quality time with their kids but with the high cost of living in Cayman, who can afford to be a stay-at-home parent, even two-parent families are finding it difficult much less a single-parent. 


  5. Anonymous says:

    Raising children is a responsibility and an expensive one.  Perhaps more thought should be given to the seriousness of your duties as a parent before reproducing?



    • Anonymous says:

      It breaks my heart to know there are kids out there the whole day without food or something to drink.  I live from pay cheque to pay cheque as well but will always make sure my child has something to eat, drink and at least $1.00 in his pocket for a phone call and be somewhere I know he is safe.  I can not remember the last time I did something for myself (buy new underwear, shoes or go for a hair cut) but that is the sacrifice we make (lovingly) for our kids.  Raising children is a huge responsibiliy. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "Perhaps more thought should be given to the seriousness of your duties as a parent before reproducing?"

      Just because you came from a perfect home doesn’t mean that you should be casting stones.  Be careful karma is a powerful thing when you running down people.  The economy is bad and many people are hitting on hard times.  It really annoys me when people are derogatory about having children.  You were once a child too and your parents had you.  Good thing they didn’t think the way you are thinking.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you’ll reread that statement without your defensiveness, I don’t believe it was meant to run people down.

        If every person considered what parenthood and raising a family is all about before reproducing like it was sticking a feather in your cap, the world would be a better place.

        Of course that would also be Fantasy Land.


        Quit being so defensive and grow up

        • Anonymous says:

          " If every person considered what parenthood and raising a family is all about before reproducing like it was sticking a feather in your cap, the world would be a better place."

          Be careful how you judge, life had a way of bringing those same judgments down on you. I’m a grown responsible woman who has made many sacrifices for my children.  But "reproducing" in that context is derogatory like they are animals not children.  

          There are so many children haters, it is no wonder that we have the problems that we have with them.  The way people look at them as they walk in the shops or the way they are put down even here on CNS.  And also because a woman is a single mother it is her fault.  Sometimes, her husband died or they divorced.  Life happens.  I just wish that all those people who judge will have the same things happen to them .Like I said, karma.  

          I’m sorry but it boils my blood along with child molesters and women beaters to have people say these kinds of things. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Summer camps not listed on the

  7. Anonymous says:

    While on the subject of child neglect, another thing that comes to mind is the fact that parents drops their kids to Camana Bay at the Cinema running all over the place unsupervised and left for hours on end.  This should not happen especially young girls, anything can happen not saying that Camana Bay is not a safe environnment but, stranger things have happened there is always a first ime for everything.  It happened at the old cinema all the kids left stranded for hours on end hanging all over the side of the road and even wandering over to the night club properties.  Parents need to be more responsible and take an hour or two to have some quality time with their children, mark my words you will regret it one day.

    You are only a child once in your life and they will probably end up repeating this practice to their children one day.  Careful parents you are asking for trouble when you leave your children unsupervised they get into all sorts of things and the kids of today are very easily infulenced. 


    • Anonymous says:

      Kids from all over the world hang out at malls, esp movie theatres and ice cream parlours.  That is not unusual. 

      What is weird here is that kids are getting dropped off at public libraries at 5am and hang out in there until 6pm without food or anyone looking after them.  Totally different scenario.  Librarians are not camp councellors, and these parents need to face the penalties.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is great that government has offered to do summer camps for free. The private camps are way to expensive for a lot of people to afford. I mean they were to expensive for me even when the economic crisis didnt hit as yet. But these free government camps are from 8:30 – 12 mid day. so what does one do for the remainder of the day? Things are not easy, cost of living his high and not everyone can afford a helper or summer camps.

  9. Anonymous says:

    With the help of volunteers and sponsorships from local companies, the Ministry and Department of Sports are offering a host of FREE sports summer camps. Parents can go to to see the full list of camps or they can call the department at 949-7082 for more information.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for this very useful information.  This programme would clearly benefit from more advertising in local press and here on CNS as it would surely be popular with parents and children throughout the summer break.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, they do offer free camps and it is a great idea.  The problem is that all the age groups is 7 and up.  What about younger kids.  The camps are also only till 12:00.  What then?

  10. Annon says:

    I think it is disgusting that these kids are dropped with no food and left there all day, however having been single mother for 14 yearsand raised two children by myself I understand that parents HAVE to work to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads and at times they have no choice but to go to such drastic lengths so they can go to work.

    I believe a Government sponsored youth centre is way overdue. A place where parents can safely drop their children and not have to worry when summer holidays are here or when half terms comes around.

    These private camps are VERY expensive, government could charge a small fee for the youth centre to recoup overhead and still make it affordable to parents that can’t afford $300 a week for camp.

    This would be a great community project! What do you say government take the pay cut and build our kids a youth centre!?




    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry. All the money is being used instead to house brackers in a new hurricane shelter although they already have more shelters than anyone else in Cayman and anyway, perfectly safe caves were available.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps you should send your children to one of these ‘perfectly safe caves’ for the summer.  They are likely to learn a lot more from the disease ridden bats than from you.  You could also suggest that they spend a few of their library hours looking up cave survival.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Whilst there is no excuse for child neglect, with the serious economic situation we now find ourselves in, so many unemployed, so many earning less than they did last year, the new increases on daily living essentials, b and the price of summer camps, it is impossible for the majority of parents to find  proper care for their children.

    I know the govt. is struggling but they have MUST help with providing summer programs.   What about the churches who receive grants from Govt. what are they doing except building bigger building and paving their parking lots?   They need to step up and help the community, if these children are not properly cared and nurtured to become decent citizens, they will not be filling their pews, so who are they building for?

    Come on Churches, there is enough of you out there, if each church do two weeks of activities/programs during the summer it could provide enough activities for the children all summer.

    Summer camps are just too expensive, I know it is very costly to run a very good camp but maybe this is an area that the govt. can contribute to ensure that the cost is kept at a minimal, maybe it could give grants to parents who can afford or give consessions on the material used, or maybe even contribute to the camp leaders salary/wages.     These are just some ideas that i think might help allevate this situation.

    If the children are left on the street or unsupervised, remember, there are many drug dealers out there who would like to use these children for their illegal trade.    If society don’t step up now and help care and train these children, they will be the next criminals of tomorrow.    For too long a blind eye has been turned to these problems, and as the saying goes it takes a village to raise a child, so it is all our responsibility to ensure these children are properly cared for


    • Anonymous says:

      There are a number of different churches who do offer programs throughout the summer for children (such as vacation bible school) and have done so for many years.

      Although I will admit more could probably get involved and also offer these programs.

      • Anonymous says:

        yes that is true. I was wondering what is the sense for them to have these summer camps @ 5:30 pm – 8? Parentsare home @ that time. I think the churches should step up and do more for the people who can’t afford these private camps.   

        • Anonymous says:

          I totally agree with you 14:15 why can’t  some of the churches have their vacation bible school during the day? At 5pm  some parents get to go home with their kids and I for one is too tired to go back on the road to collect my child at 8 or 9:30pm.

          If anyone know of any churches having VBS during the day please post it.

          God Bless!

          • Anonymous says:

            Anon 16:14 – I know the Boatswain Bay Presbyterian Church in West Bay is having their VBS next week 26th – 30 July 2010,  8:30 am until noon.    Their program is always very exciting and fun – they actually bring in a team from overseas to assist their local membership with the week long activities.   Everyone from the age of 5 years are welcome to attend.