Father leaves his three children to fend for themselves
Police are looking for the father of three children aged nine to 13 who has left them unattended in a Sheung Shui village house since September.
The Hongkonger, thought to be between 40 and 50 years old, had visited his children three times since they moved in about eight weeks ago, police said.
Last night the nine-year-old boy and his sisters, aged 12 and 13, were under the care of medical staff at Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po.
Their mother, a mainlander, lives in Shenzhen and is waiting for a one-way permit so she can move to Hong Kong. The children, born on the mainland, migrated to Hong Kong on one-way permits.
"They appear to be physically and mentally fit. No apparent injuries were found on them," a police officer said.
The Social Welfare Department said social workers would help with the children's welfare needs.
The child neglect case came to light at about 3.30am yesterday when a security guard found the boy wandering alone outside Goodwood Park in Hang Tau Road. The boy led the guard to his home in a village, about 500 metres away from the residential estate. Inside, the guard found the two sisters asleep but no sign of their parents. He then called police.
The father, a construction worker, began renting the ground-floor flat in September to house his children, police said. He is understood to live somewhere else.
"His children have only his mobile telephone number," another officer said, adding that the older girl was responsible for taking care of the other two.
It is understood that the father left them some money. He would also pay all the living expenses of the house.
The siblings attend a primary school in Sheung Shui and cross the border every weekend to visit their mother. "She would give them some food to bring back for the week," he said.
According to the department's statistics, there were 465 new reports of child abuse in the first six months of this year, and 877 in the whole of last year. Nearly 9 per cent of the 465 cases involved neglect.