Concerns over child left alone in van

5:03 pm on 15 January 2016

A mother who left her young child alone in a locked van has escaped charges in favour of some advice from police.

Generic police car.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

A woman, who did not want to be identified, said she called police when she and her husband noticed the child aged about two.

The child was teary and at one point was playing with a fish hook, she said.

Police said an officer arrived 14 minutes after getting a call and made sure the child was safe and well before giving the mother advice.

Police were satisfied the mother had come out of the shop to check on her child, a spokesperson said.

However, the woman who made the emergency call said she didn't see that happen and questioned whether police were taking the issue seriously.

New Zealand law stipulates a child under 14-years must not be left alone "for a time that is unreasonable or under conditions that are unreasonable".