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People are being asked to put themselves in the shoes of two Dudley police officers who came across what they thought was a new-born baby locked in a car.
The experienced PC and sergeant had been called to Russell’s Hall hospital shortly before 11.45am on 14 September when they spotted what appeared to be an abandoned baby just days old.
Wrapped tightly in a blanket and with its face and arms covered, the duo feared that a depressed new mother had left her ‘baby’.
Rapid checks were made to try and trace the owner of the car while officers checked to see if a PA system was available in the hospital to ask the owner to return to the blue Vauxhall Corsa.
With time passing the officers were left with no option but to break a small rear window to investigate further.
Chief Inspector Phil Dolby, from Dudley Police, said: "Two of my officers did the right thing when faced with what they genuinely believed was a baby, alone and critically ill in a locked car on the hospital’s car park.
"The extremely life-like doll was wrapped in a kiddies blanket with only the top of its head exposed. The colouration of the head appeared discoloured giving the highly experienced officers additional cause for alarm.
"Efforts were made to trace the owner of the car. But believing this was a genuine emergency, they broke a window to investigate further.
"There’s no suggestion that the doll was placed in a deliberate effort to waste police time so we will of course pay for the damage caused.
"I apologise to the owner of the car who knows the reasons why my officers took the action they did. She will hopefully agree that had it have been a baby in distress and had they not acted, they would be subject of this scrutiny for all the wrong reasons."
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