Hitchin Mum's fury after toddler goes missing from play centre

A MOTHER is warning other parents to be vigilant after her 16-month-old daughter went missing from a play centre. Tracy Biram, of Balmoral Road in Hitchin, had taken her daughter, Tessa, to Monkey Bizness on the Roaring Meg Retail Park in Stevenage to pla

A MOTHER is warning other parents to be vigilant after her 16-month-old daughter went missing from a play centre.

Tracy Biram, of Balmoral Road in Hitchin, had taken her daughter, Tessa, to Monkey Bizness on the Roaring Meg Retail Park in Stevenage to play with her friends.

"It's always very busy and, after a while, I couldn't see my toddler," Mrs Biram explained. "At no moment did I think she had left the building."

But, after about five minutes of frantic searching, Mrs Biram noticed a staff door leading to the car park was open.


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"Due to staff negligence my daughter had managed to get out of the place and into the car park and she narrowly missed being hit by a lorry," she said.

"It's a serious incident and I was so traumatised by it."

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Mrs Biram said she wrote to the head office of Monkey Bizness after the incident on Thursday, August 27, but has not had a response.

"It's atrocious - I don't feel they are taking it seriously," she said. "I feel responsible to tell other parents. They place you in a false sense of security because it's supposed to be a safe environment to play in, but they need to review their safety measures."

On the company's website it advertises the fact that Monkey Bizness has a restaurant, complimentary newspapers and TV screens. It says: "So with the kids letting off some steam, you can catch up with friends or find some time for yourself, safe in the knowledge the little ones are happy and safe."

But Roger Tony, regional manager for Monkey Bizness, told The Comet that the play centre is a "parental supervision facility".

He said: "We put safety measures in place to assist parents while supervising their children and are very surprised and dismayed that these were breached, enabling a child to go unnoticed by parents or staff outside the building."

He said an external door was open because a delivery was being made, adding: "We changed our procedures the very same day to ensure this freak occurrence can't happen again, as child safety is Monkey Bizness' number one priority.

"We apologised several times to the party and assured them of the changes we have made.

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