Letter: Samaritans at large

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sir: Perhaps the public is more aware since the murder of James Bulger. Some months ago, I made a short visit to a supermarket, leaving my three-year-old daughter deeply asleep and unrousable in my car. I returned 10 minutes later to find her awake and screaming, and after having cuddled and reassured her, drove on my way feeling somewhat guilty. Several days later I received a surprise visit from a policeman investigating a report of a distressed child left in a car with my registration number in the supermarket car park. I detailed what had happened, and he admitted that he and his wife had also left their children asleep in their car on occasion.

The policeman added that 'since the murder of the little chap in Liverpool', reports of child neglect and cruelty had increased greatly in Cambridge. All were investigated, and about 2 per cent were found to need further action. None was taken in my own case.

Yours faithfuly,