Peabody in the news

Gallions staff leapt into action when they were alerted to a baby crying in a locked car on a sunny day.

Arriving on the scene in south Thamesmead, Gallions wardens Chris Waite and Ben Ashworth found a baby girl sitting alone in a baby seat.

Chris stood in front the window to shield the four-month-old from the sun, while colleague Ben went to their warden vehicle to sound the horn to attract attention.

“The baby was crying and the situation was getting worse as her head was turning red from the direct sunlight," Chris explained. "She was in obvious discomfort but we couldn’t smash the glass without endangering her. It was very distressing."

(L-R) Gallions Wardens Chris Waite and Ben Ashworth

Officers from Bexley Metropolitan Police arrived within minutes of the phone call being made, giving wardens the authority to force entry into the car.

Chris added: “We checked the exhaust pipe which was cold, indicating the vehicle had been parked for some time. We couldn’t get in there quick enough.”

As soon as the baby was removed, Chris and a police officer applied first aid as they waited for the paramedics to arrive. They also gave her water using a bottle top, to which she immediately responded. She was then admitted to hospital to be treated for dehydration, given a general check-up, and has since made a full recovery.

The father, who was not from Thamesmead, then turned up at the scene. When questioned by police he told them he had been to a friend’s house and had forgotten about the baby in the car. He was arrested for child neglect and drug offences as illegal substances were found at the scene.

Gallions Enforcement Team Leader, Andy Howard, said: “A full statement was supplied to the police for their criminal investigation and paramedics praised the swift intervention and first aid supplied and indicated that without the caretaker noticing the baby and wardens attending the incident could have had far more serious consequences.”