Right, so last night something happened that made me so cross I’ve ventured into Martin’s Muttering territory for the first time. I’m not even sure I’m actually allowed to be here rather than the fluffy bunny areas of the site!
Last night Rebekah and three of her friends (aged 12-14) were waiting at the bus stop in Ryde (I’m told they were sitting and chatting relatively quietly) when they are approached by the police and asked where they were going. At this point my response might have been <sarcasm mode engaged > “on the bus.” However Rebekah with much delight told them they were going to a church youth group (in a kind of stick that in your pipe and smoke it manner internally if not externally). This wasn’t enough to satisfy the police who asked which church they were going to. One of the girls was about to tell them that her dad was the Street Pastor co-ordinator – they would have preferred to be stopped by the Street Pastors they might have got free chocolates and flip-flops!
You may think this was 11 o’clock or so and the police were worried about a group so young being out on the streets, but no it was 6 O’clock. 6 o’clock for goodness sake and they are getting questioned for going about their lawful business. Even worse I expect that the police are perfectly within their rights to ask them what they are doing and if they don’t like it tell them to go away under police dispersal powers.
So now not only can my children not walk around in the day time without the police stopping them because they are suspected of truancy they also can’t go out after school for fear that the police will stop them and question them about where they are going. When did it become okay in this country for the police to ask people what they are doing and why for no reason at all?
I naturally would have been bringing my children up to know that the police we’re the people who would be there to help you if you were in trouble, my children are learning all by themselves that the police are the people you avoid at all costs. I’m sure there is something wrong here.