1 Apr 2015

Police criticise internet cafe in truancy case

1:49 pm on 1 April 2015

Waikato police are criticising an internet cafe for not challenging an 11-year-old boy who skipped school and spent stolen money at the cafe.

Hamilton youth aid co-ordinator Sergeant Scott Miller said the boy stole $150 from his family's boarder and spent it at the cafe in Garden Place in Hamilton last Wednesday.

Mr Miller said the boy's father tried to make him leave the cafe several times, but he refused and the police were called.

He said a worker at the cafe seemed unconcerned that a school-aged child was in the cafe and refused to refund the money he spent.

Mr Miller said residents and businesses who see children out of school have a social responsibility to report them to the police.

Director of internet safety group Netsafe Martin Cocker said the case showed that internet cafes may need an official truancy policy.

"It's something that used to crop up a lot when they were video arcades and kids would duck out of school to go to the video arcades and overtime video arcades came under a lot of pressure to make sure there were no school children there there during school hours.

"And maybe that's something that needs to be looked at in this case."