The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is now investigating after an RCMP officer left his four young children, including a baby, unattended in a Vancouver parkade.
The RCMP is also probing the incident, in which the kids — all of whom appeared under the age of seven — were found alone in an SUV at the Vancouver law courts on Wednesday.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) also confirms it was notified, and is “continuing to review this incident in order to gather the information necessary to make informed decisions about the appropriate next steps.”
Global BC reporter Rumina Daya was in the area when she heard the sound of a baby crying. That led her to the unlocked vehicle with the kids in it, and no adult in sight.
Their father said the kids were alone for about 30 minutes and that he was checking on them. He said his childcare cancelled at the last minute, and that there was no way he could miss work.
LISTEN: Four children left in car by police officer
MCFD Minister Katrine Conroy weighed in on the incident Thursday.
“Whenever children are left in the car, it’s up to people that should report it, and if a report is made, then the ministry investigates,” she said.
“I can’t talk to the specifics of a case, but it’s important to say that if, especially when the hot weather is coming up, that if someone sees children in the car, they need to report it.”
In a separate statement, a ministry spokesperson said all such reports are taken seriously.
“Each and every time the ministry is contacted, we look into the circumstances, assess the risk to the child and the parent’s ability to provide care. Based on those findings, we would take the most appropriate course of action to meet the child’s best interests and help ensure their safety.
The RCMP is not commenting on what consequences the officer could face. A spokesperson said they are continuing to gather information about what happened.
Kyla Lee with Acumen Law Corporation told Global News that there is a provincial guideline that kids under 10 shouldn’t be left alone, and kids under 12 shouldn’t be left alone if watching siblings.
However, she said there is no specific law in B.C. about leaving children unattended.