Police dispute claims they left kids in car while locking mother up

By Leah Te Whata
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A Tauranga man has taken to social media with claims that Whakatāne police took a thirty-year-old woman into custody, leaving her five children in the car unattended for two to three hours.  However,  police are disputing the claims.

Richard Jeff Angell took to social media saying, "These are the babies that have been in the car, how long have you been in the car- 2 or 3 hours"

The Facebook post by Angell has gained more than 152,000 views, he says:

"By the time I get there it's 10 o'clock at night and the kids have been in the car, outside the police station for 2- 3 hours cold, scared, hungry, busting for a toilet and heartbroken."

Angell claims the woman had been arrested for minor traffic infringements.

But police say she'd breached bail conditions which included not associating with some of the children she had in her car.

In a statement, police said:

"When the woman was arrested Police offered to drop the children to a family member who lived nearby but the woman would not agree to this.  She arranged for a family member in Tauranga to come and get them instead, he took three hours to arrive.  Police then suggested the children could wait for the family member inside the station, but again the woman would not agree to this."

Te Kāea questioned why, if the woman was not supposed to have contact with some of the children in the car, police did not call the person they were supposed to be with or social services in the first instance.  We are awaiting a response.

Police say the woman involved is due to appear in Hamilton District Court on September 20 facing three charges of assault of a child.