A mother of two children has been arrested for suspected child abuse after they stopped attending school and police discovered them living in poor conditions.
The schools of the children – an 8-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy – had asked social workers to intervene after the girl stopped attending in early January, and the boy stopped attending in early December.
Police entered their subdivided flat in Mong Kok on Thursday evening, and arrested the 31-year-old mother.
Mong Kok District Chief Inspector Chan Yuk-man told reporters that living conditions were poor: “There was faecal matter on the floor, and the 4-year-old boy was unclothed.”
She said she did not yet know whether the faecal matter was produced by humans, or by a dog also living in the flat.
She added that police did not find any outwardly visible wounds or bruises on the children, and they did not appear to be emaciated.
The children’s grandmother later told Apple Daily she suspected that the mother relapsed into a drug habit after undergoing a divorce.
“My daughter was very stubborn, she didn’t want to ask other people, and she didn’t apply for social welfare,” said the grandmother. “So she depended entirely on the help of relatives for living expenses.”
The arrest comes after a widely-publicised case of suspected murder last week, when a 5-year-old-girl died covered in wounds and bruises, some of which had been left untreated and was infected.