Investigation into Sunburned baby

Police and social services are investigating after a five-month-old baby suffered 40% burns after being left in the sun in Brighton on one of the hottest days of the year.

Hear from Sussex Police Inspector David Derrick  

The boy spent two days in hospital after Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) intervened during a patrol along the beach. He was discharged from the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Tuesday night after being taken there by ambulance on Sunday afternoon as temperatures reached 25C (77F).

The baby was visiting the South Coast resort from Plumstead, south-east London, with his 29-year-old mother.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: ``The case of a five-month-old baby sunburnt on Brighton beach is being jointly investigated with Sussex Police and social services in Brighton and the London borough where the child lives.``No arrests have been made at this stage and the baby is doing fine.''

Witness Sarah Bevis, 24, said she saw other people on the beach shouting at the baby's mother.

She said: ``She had covered the baby up with a blanket as a group of women were arguing with her about the baby's burns. I couldn't see the baby myself as it was hidden. ``It looked like she was just going to stay on the beach with it covered up
even though they were saying it needed medical treatment. ``I think one of the other women then called the police to report it.''

The police spokeswoman said the incident was a positive example of the work of PCSOs. She said the two officers, who regularly patrol Brighton seafront, scanned the beach for the baby following comments from a concerned member of the public.

Inspector David Derrick said: ``The PCSOs who intervened to help this family form a critical part of neighbourhood policing in the city of Brighton and Hove. ``The actions of these officers is a clear demonstration on how neighbourhood
policing identifies problems and keeps people safe.

``Within minutes of them being alerted and foreseeing the possible danger to this child, they were able to take him and the mother to a safe place and arrange medical support. ``Detectives are now establishing the full details and working with local
authority counterparts in London to consider any child protection concerns.'' He added: ``The PCSOs that work in the area of the seafront work tirelessly to ensure the millions of visitors to Brighton and Hove have a safe place to visit.

``They achieve this by supporting their colleagues in preventing crime and interacting with the community at every opportunity to ensure they feel safe.''