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Police officer's drastic act after mum left kids in car to get groceries

Concerned shoppers noticed the two children inside the hot car park at a Sydney centre.

Police were forced to smash the window of a parked car to rescue two young kids locked inside while their mum was grocery shopping.

Video shows an officer smashing the passenger window with his baton and the mum rushing back to the car with groceries in hand to find the car surrounded by police and a rescue crew.

A photo of NSW police breaking into a silver Honda to rescue to unattended children inside in a Northern Beaches Shopping centre car park in Sydney. Another photo of the mum running to the car with grocery bags once noticing emergency services were there.
Police were forced to smash open a mum's car to free her two children at a shopping centre car park in Sydney's Northern Beaches. Source: 7 News

Police, firefighters and paramedics arrived to the shopping centre car park in Dee Why in Sydney's north at about 2.20pm on Monday following reports of a child being locked in a silver Honda. They discovered there were two children inside, aged one and four. Police were concerned for the welfare of the children. Outdoor temperatures in Sydney about that time on Monday were above 25 degrees.

After trying to unlock the car, NSW Police said in a statement their attempts were "unsuccessful," so they were forced to break the window to gain access – with the rescue caught on camera. It is not known how long the woman had been before returning to the car.

"A woman returned to the vehicle a short time later and was spoken to by police," the NSW Police statement read. "Inquiries continue."

Why are more children being left in cars?

While the act of breaking into a person's car may seem drastic, the recent case involving a three-year-old western Sydney boy dying in a hot car highlights the real danger of leaving a child inside — even for a short period of time.

NRMA's spokesman Peter Khoury told Yahoo News Australia the statistics for how many children are being left in cars are "alarming".

"January this year we rescued 213 children — it was the highest month in five years," he said. "And 2022 was the highest in 10 years considering both children and pets (4267)."

"The overwhelming majority of those cases are accidental where people lock their keys in the car with their child and call us frantically."

When asked why numbers are "on the rise", he mentioned two possible reasons, saying it's something NRMA have been "trying to get their heads around".

"Anecdotally one possible element could be Covid, whereby people were just preferring to keep their children or pets in the vehicle rather than take them into the stores," he said.

"Another factor could also be the weather. We didn’t have a particularly hot 2022 and because of that people thought 'well it’s not hot, it's not an issue'. Whereas we tell people that regardless of the weather, it's not safe to leave children in vehicles."

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