Parents left baby for an hour at Thorpe Park while they queued for theme park ride

'It’s horrifying,' a witness said, 'like the parents had no regard for their child. Anyone could have taken her'

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The Independent Online

The parents of a young baby left her in her pram for an hour while they queued up to ride a rollercoaster at Thorpe Park theme park, it has been reported.

Police and social services were called by security after visitors reported seeing the girl – believed to be around a year old – alone in her buggy by a bin.

Thorpe Park said its staff were at the scene within two minutes after the matter was brought to their attention.

Electrician Daniel Bevis, 22, was visiting the park with a group of friends when he spotted the child near the Colossus rollercoaster.

He told the Sun: “We were so shocked that someone could leave a kid. What’s worse is that security said it happens a lot.

“It’s horrifying — like the parents had no regard for their child. Anyone could have taken her.

“We stood with her for ten to 15 minutes. No one turned up so we called security. They took her to first aid then the parents arrived. They’d been gone over an hour.

Mr Bevis said he confronted the man and woman, who were there with their three other children on the ride, but said they had “nothing to say”.

The family were said to have put their 11-year-old daughter in charge of looking after the infant.

The incident has since been referred to the family’s local authority, Surrey Police confirmed.

Family Lives charity said: “To leave a child in a public place, with the associated risks of being in a strange environment, with people being around, magnifies the danger.

“If they did leave the baby with their elder daughter... they needed to make sure she knew it was her responsibility and she couldn’t do anything else.”

A Thorpe Park spokesperson said: “From the information made available to us, the child was left in the care of the family’s daughter.

"Within two minutes of the guest reporting the pram unattended, our security attended and the daughter made herself known.

"We took both of them to First Aid to secure further details which were passed onto relevant authorities in line with our safeguarding procedures.

"We thank the guest who reported this to us for being vigilant, as it’s great to have caring guests that look out for one another at our Park."