Parents charged after kids found in SkyCity car park

23:48, Apr 16 2012

A couple who allegedly left their five children in a van in the SkyCity car park while they gambled have reportedly been charged in relation to the incident.

The couple will appear in court next month, facing charges of leaving their children unattended, the New Zealand Herald said.

The children, whose ages ranged from five months to eight-years-old, were allegedly found alone in a van in the SkyCity car park around 11am on a Sunday February 26.

They were placed in Child Youth and Family care after the alleged incident.

A CYF spokesperson said they were "safe and well" and were immediately taken into care once contacted by police.

SkyCity said their surveillance recordings indicated the children had been locked in the vehicle for about 45 minutes.

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A couple returning to their car heard the children crying and notified SkyCity security staff.

Staff found the parents upstairs gambling in the casino.

The family was taken to Auckland central police station.

Peter Treacy, SkyCity's general counsel, said while incidents of this kind do occasionally occur, they were rare.

He said SkyCity has strict procedures in place for these type of events which includes calling police immediately, advising the Department of Internal Affairs and issuing the parent or guardian with a trespass notice.

In the past year, 1.76 million vehicles have been parked in the car park and staff have uncovered seven incidents of children being left in cars in that time.

Fairfax Media