Sunday 26 February 2017

'Baby with cigarette' photo probed

A photo of a baby with an unlit cigarette in its mouth has been posted on Facebook
A photo of a baby with an unlit cigarette in its mouth has been posted on Facebook
A photo of a baby with an unlit cigarette in its mouth has been posted on Facebook

A photograph of a baby with a cigarette in his mouth has been posted online, prompting a police investigation.

A concerned internet user contacted the authorities after they saw the picture of a baby boy with an unlit cigarette in his mouth on the social networking site Facebook, an Essex Police spokesman said.

Officers visited the child's home in Westcliff, near Southend in Essex, but found there were "no immediate concerns" for the baby's welfare.

The spokesman said: "Police received the information in the early hours of Saturday about a picture of a baby with a cigarette in its mouth on Facebook.

"The baby was traced to an address in Westcliff and there were no immediate concerns for its welfare. The matter was referred to social services for any follow-up action."

Southend Borough Council said its officers would be visiting the child's family again.

Sue Cook, head of specialist children's services, said: "Concerns were originally raised with the NSPCC on Saturday.

"The NSPCC referred the matter to the council's emergency out-of-hours service who in turn informed local police.

"Officers visited the family home on Saturday and, although no evidence of criminal wrongdoing emerged, words of advice were given to the parent.

"Essex Police then referred the matter back to the council and we will be visiting the family concerned. The purpose of the visit is to carry out an assessment aimed at ensuring that any child within the household is being appropriately cared for."

Press Association

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