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Police accused of preventing mum from taking sick baby to hospital after 20 minute row over taxi

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 2/01/2017 John Scheerhout

Police accused of preventing mum from taking sick baby to hospital after 20 minute row over taxi © Credits: Steve Allen Police accused of preventing mum from taking sick baby to hospital after 20 minute row over taxi A taxi passenger mum trying to get a breathless, sick baby to hospital claims police obstructed her in a stand-off about child seats.

Lucy Flynn, 25, ordered a taxi after her 15-month-old son Alex turned red and began wheezing.

Desperate Lucy says she was urgently trying to get the tot to hospital when patrol police officers pulled over the private hire car and insisted that the infant should use a child seat.

During the 20-minute stand-off which ensued, Lucy says she showed officers a government webpage on her phone which showed it was, in fact, legal for a child to be transported in a taxi where the driver doesn’t provide the correct seat.

But the officers are said to have kept mum and her distressed child at the roadside for 20 minutes and even suggested they walk to hospital before finally allowing the driver to complete the journey.

GMP now say they are investigating the mum’s complaint.

Advice from the government’s gov.uk site states: “A child can travel without a child car seat in some circumstances. Taxis and minicabs: If the driver doesn’t provide the correct car seat, children can travel without one - but only if they travel on a rear seat and wear an adult seat belt if they’re 3 or older.”

Little Alex spent seven hours being treated for a viral infection and conjunctivitis at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. He has since recovered at home.

But mother-of-two Lucy, from Clayton, has lodged an official complaint and is demanding an apology from Greater Manchester Police.

Lucy, who works in HR, told the M.E.N: “They pulled us over and said ‘you should have a car seat in a taxi - it’s dangerous’. Alex was crying in the taxi. His cheeks were bright red. He was wheezing and breathing really fast.

“I told the police three or four times he was really ill. He was visibly poorly and I told them I wanted to get him to A&E and we didn’t need a car seat because we were in a taxi. It was freezing and I had a little baby in my hands. One of them told me if it was an emergency we should have called an ambulance. I didn’t need an ambulance. I just needed to get to the hospital as best I could. I looked the law up on my phone and showed them it was legal. The officer just said ‘I don’t think that’s the main concern - the main concern at the moment is the child’.

“But they just kept me there and I hadn’t even broken the law. I was panicking. There were four police officers there and surely one of them would know it’s not against the law. The way I was treated was so rude. I feel disgusted and let down. The police are supposed to protect us.”

The law says a child can travel in a taxi without a child seat if the driver has not provided one and if the child is on a rear seat.

A spokesman for GMP said: “We have received a complaint in relation to an incident that took place on Upper Brook Street, Manchester, on Monday 26 December 2016. We are currently investigating this complaint and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

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