Police made an embarassing blunder when they smashed the window of a mum’s car to save a trapped baby – only to realise it was ‘life-like’ doll.
Amy McQuillen had left her Nissan Qashquai in an underground car park at Asda on Tuesday, with daughter Darci, 10, strapping her highly-realistic “reborn” baby doll called Elliot into the booster seat.
Cleveland Police were then called by a worried passerby who though a baby had been left locked inside the vehicle, Teesside Live reports.
After heading to the car’s location in Thornaby, officers broke the passenger window to rescue the child – only to discover the £60 doll inside.
In a statement issued on Friday, Cleveland Police said the call was received with the best intentions and that the officers involved reacted quickly in a bid to safeguard a child.
The statement read: “You may have seen national news reports today that our officers attended a call from a member of the public, worried a baby had been left in a car in a supermarket’s underground car park.
“Police responded to this call and when directed to the car by the reporting person, as the owner was not present, the car window was broken.
“The owner returned as this was happening and it was established that the reporting person had mistaken a life-like doll, which was fastened into a child seat in the vehicle, for a baby.
“You can see what the caller had seen in this picture and the call was made with the best intentions.”
“The owner was not arrested, will be reimbursed for the damaged window and we appreciated them being understanding of the unusual circumstances,” the statement continued.
“We’d always rather establish a crime has not occurred than miss an opportunity to safeguard a child.
“Sadly people are too often cautious to report concerns about a child and we’d like to take the opportunity to say if you believe a child is at risk, please call us.”
“We’re never embarrassed or inconvenienced to have reacted quickly to a call that a child is potentially at risk.
“It’s always the best outcome when this is not the case and the officers attending on that day resolved the matter – reflected on how you can never predict what you will attend each shift – and quickly moved on to the next 999 call, doing their best to serve the public throughout their time on duty.”
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