Australia's Nanny State Laws Result in Stupid Outcomes, Too

Man arrested for leaving son home alone for half an hour to play video games.


HAM-FISTED police are prosecuting parents who let their children walk to the shops alone or wait in the car for a few minutes, Australia's civil rights lobby complained yesterday.

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman challenged prosecutors to drop charges against well-meaning parents who might technically breach child-neglect laws by letting their kids walk to school, or stay in the car while they duck into a corner store.

"The nanny state should have some limits," he said. "The law needs to be there, but it's a ham-fisted and mindless way in which it is being enforced by various police around the country. Surely parents should be left to exercise their own discretion as to whether an eight-year-old can walk 50m along a footpath to the shop."