THREE young girls broke down in tears after police told them off for picking daffodils in a park.
Sienna Marengo, four, was plucking flowers with her sister India, 10, and step-sister Olivia, six, when they were spotted by a passing councillor. [Peter Adams].
Two constables arrived in a car and warned the girls’ mum Jane Errington, 35, that she and partner Marc Marengo, 49, could be arrested for theft and criminal damage.
“Two officers then came up, saying they’d had a report of flowers ripped up. They said, ‘We have let you off, but if you don’t leave it we will have to arrest you for theft.’ The little ones started crying. It was frightening for them. They did have daffodils, about 20 between them, but surely the police have better things to do?”
Peter Adams, a Tory on Poole Council, claimed he saw the girls take “large bunches of 70-80 flowers”. He said: “We are proud of our parks and can’t have people ripping up public property. But I was surprised the police sent a squad car with two PCs.”
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “We were told a significant amount of daffodils were being pulled out and thrown around.”
My comment: Notice the difference between the girls picking 20 flowers between three of them and what Peter Adams apparently told the Police, bunches of 70-80 flowers, we can't have people ripping up public property, throwing them on the ground.
This story is not about right and wrong as many reporters and commentators suggest, it's about the proportionality of the response when someone, particularly a child, does something wrong. And why the Police turn up when informed of a criminal act by a councillor but often ignore more serious criminal acts reported by members of the public.
Read the full story from the source The Mirror
Read all articles about the Police or all articles about Poole Borough Council on this blog