Monday, 31 May 2010

Seeing is not always believing

I came across a rather disturbing article in the local news at the weekend. A guy who'd apparently been cautioned by the police for taking pictures of his girlfriend's naked 5-year old son in a park has been cleared of any wrongdoing and awarded £500 damages.

There isn't any context to the original incident, and it isn't clear as to why the kid felt moved to undress in a public park, but while it was probably unwise of him to have started taking photos, it evidently wasn't illegal. However, the chain of events which started with an interfering busybody poking his or her nose into a private family occasion led to the unfortunate child being taken into care by over-zealous social workers, and the police giving a caution - which the guy (who apparently didn't speak much English) couldn't have fully appreciated the significance of.

Cynic that I am, I venture the opinion that if the guy's command of English had been up to scratch, his response rather than accepting the caution may instead have been "See you in Court", and I also venture the suggestion that if the investigating officers were required to pay the £500 personally (which, of course, they obviously aren't) then it might well prompt them to use a little more commonsense in future.

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