Father’s fury at toddler’s escape

Richard McCready with his son Cole after Cole walked out of Shirebrook Job Centre on his own
Richard McCready with his son Cole after Cole walked out of Shirebrook Job Centre on his own
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A FURIOUS father is demanding answers amidst claims his two-year-old son was able to walk passed a watching security guard at a Jobcentre and out towards a busy road.

Richard McCready has put in a complaint after the toddler had managed to slip out of the building on Shirebrook’s Station Road on Friday afternoon while he underwent an interview with an advisor.

The unemployed 33-year-old, who is originally from Kirkby, was forced to take his four children aged one, two, three and six, with him.

Attempting to keep his children together, he panicked when he realised his son Cole had momentarily disappeared from sight.

And while he accepts his responsibility, he is angry that a security guard knew the youngster had wandered out onto the street.

He explained: “I jumped onto my feet and ran towards the door and I saw him heading towards the road. I couldn’t believe it.

“The security guard was at the door and knew he had gone outside. I know they are my responsibility, but he is there to keep people safe isn’t he?

“It might not be his duty but surely no-one would let it happen, there’s a moral responsibility. Cole was safe but it could have been so much worse.”

The former forklift truck driver, who has been unemployed for over a year and has since moved to Hawthorne Avenue, Shirebrook, has taken steps to put in a complaint against the G4S-employed security guard and is wanting the CCTV footage from the Jobcentre to support his claims.

“I’m not sure if anyone will take it seriously but I feel like I need to do something, there needs to be some disciplinary,” he added.

He also unhappy by comments he says were made by Jobcentre staff about him having his children with him during the interview.

“It made me feel like I should be ashamed that I have kids.

“My partner was at work so I had to look after them, I had no choice but to take them with me. It’s the school holidays and it was the best I could do.

“I was trying to keep them all in one place, one was in a pushchair and another on my knee. Two had wandered over to the ticket machine so I shouted at them to come back.

“They weren’t being noisy, they were just doing what children do.”

A spokesman on behalf of the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions, which runs Jobcentres, responded by saying:“We understand that sometimes people have to juggle childcare commitments with looking for employment.

“However, Jobcentre Plus staff are there to help people into work and it is important for other jobseekers that children are supervised.”

Meanwhile, G4S has also since responded by saying: “The responsibility of our officers is to provide safety and security to significant numbers of visitors to Jobcentre Plus offices, not to take any responsibility for or deal directly with children on site.

“In this instance, our officer informed the parent of the child as soon as he spotted the issue and kept close watch on the child, for the few seconds required, to ensure there was no risk.”