Police are stepping up their enforcement in school zones to include fining the parents of unattended children under the age of 12.
Police are stepping up their enforcement in school zones to include fining the parents of unattended children under the age of 12. Brett Wortman

Walk your kids to school or face a fine or jail time

MILES police plan to start enforcing a law banning parents from letting their children under 12 years of age walk to school alone.

Miles Police regularly patrol primary school zones and were alarmed at the number of students under 12 years walking or riding to school unsupervised.

Parents can face up to three years imprisonment for not taking reasonable steps to ensure children under 12 are properly supervised.

It comes as police across the wider Darling and Western Downs regions investigate a spate of alleged incidents where young children were approached by strangers, asking them to get in vehicles.

Police have investigated each alleged approach and have not found any similarities in any of the incidents.

Sergeant Benjamin Wiltshire said the Queensland Criminal Code stipulated that enforcement could be made if the distance or time a children journeyed to school was unreasonable, and any charges were dependent on the relevant circumstances at the time.

"If riding across a road, or on a push bike with a group of 11-year-olds is certainly a different case to a five or six-year-old walking across town completely unsupervised," Sgt Wiltshire told 2GB radio.

A flyer circulated on social media by Miles Police states: "Kids under 12 cannot walk or ride to school alone, there must be some level of supervision.

"Blatant disregard for this responsibility has already led to criminal charges against a parent in Miles and others could easily face prosecution.

"We are determined to provide the safest possible environment for our kids and our community and we ask everyone to play their part."

The Today Show this morning ran the interview with Sgt Wiltshire that has since attracted a social media storm.


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