'Home Alone' In Crawley

The mother of a four-year-old girl who was left home alone will be spoken to by police after she returned to Britain.


Police found the girl after her 16-year-old brother was arrested along with another boy of 16 on suspicion of driving offences.

The mother is understood to have gone abroad on holiday to an undisclosed location, leaving her little girl's brother in charge of her care in Crawley, West Sussex. It is not known how long the girl had been left on her own.

The girl's discovery was made after the two teenagers were stopped by police in the Maidenbower area at around 1am on Tuesday.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of taking a car without the owner's consent, Sussex Police said.

The second boy was held on suspicion of being carried in a stolen vehicle and child neglect. Both have been freed on police bail until September 27.

Today a police spokeswoman said the girl's mother had returned last night and will be spoken to under caution later today by officers and social services.

Sources said it is not believed she will be arrested because it is not an offence to leave a young child in the care of a 16-year-old unless it places them at risk.

``It is more likely that she will be given advice,'' one source said.

Sussex Police said: ``As a result of inquiries following the arrest of one of the boys, West Sussex Social Services have been informed by police that a four-year-old girl, known to one of the boys, was home alone at an address nearby.

``This matter is now being dealt with by West Sussex County Council.''

A county council spokesman said that they had no comment to make because police inquiries were still continuing.