Date
30 March 2017
The metal cages are intended as storage for sporting equipment at a basketball court along Maple Street in Sham Shui Po. Photos: Google Maps, hk01.com
The metal cages are intended as storage for sporting equipment at a basketball court along Maple Street in Sham Shui Po. Photos: Google Maps, hk01.com

Toddlers left by grandmas in cages at Sham Shui Po playground

Two toddlers were found to have been kept by their grandmothers inside metal cages at a playground in Sham Shui Po.

The metal cages at Maple Street Playground, measuring 2 feet by 2 feet, were designed as storage for personal belongings of those using the basketball court, Apple Daily reports.

The incident was discovered by a resident in the area at around 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

The man surnamed Leung said he saw the two children inside the tiny metal cages, which were supposed to be used only to store basketball and similar objects.

They were left there by their respective grandmothers, he said.

The young boy was playing inside his cage while the girl was looking out of her cell. 

Leung said he decided to stay and observe the children for about 10 minutes. When no one came to fetch the children, he filmed the scene and sent the video clip to Apple Daily.

Netizens who viewed the video clip accused the children’s grandparents of negligence for leaving them inside the cramped cages.

The following day, reporters found the boy with his grandmother in the playground, but the girl and her grandmother were nowhere to be found, Headline Daily reported.

The boy’s grandmother, surnamed Ho, explained that it was the girl who climbed into the cage first; her grandson imitated her action and went inside the other cage.

She said she didn’t see anything wrong with letting her grandson play inside the cage.

She also said she came from the mainland on a two-way permit to take care of her grandson, adding that she does not know much about Hong Kong laws and regulations.

Some neighbors said it was not the first time that children have been found inside the cages, adding that taking care of the kids is their parents’ basic responsibility.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department said it has not received any complaints about children being left inside the cages, but urged residents to use playground facilities properly.

Anyone found guilty of child abuse could face a jail term of up to 10 years, barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung told Apple Daily.

Clinical psychologist Ip Miu-yin said small children should not be left unattended in public places such as playgrounds because they could hurt themselves or risk being taken away by strangers.

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EL/AC/CG

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