Saturday night on the 21st April 2007 at approximately 7.15 pm in the rural Hertfordshire village of Whitwell, a bus stop shelter had a window broken. A very good friend of mines 10 year old son, with some of his friends was doing a good deed by picking up the broken glass off the floor. Two Stevenage police officers pulled up in a police car, and arrested my friends 10 year old son for smashing the window. Even though he pleaded his innocence, and so did his friends the police singled him out for arrest saying ‘ a lady had called them who had identified him as the one who had broke the window’, he was subsequently arrested for criminal damage, when in reality he was doing a good deed.
He was taken to his parents in the back of the police car in a very distressed state, being made to stay in the car while one of the officers went and informed his parents of his arrest. Even though his dad protested his son would not do such a thing, the officer said he would be taken to Stevenage police station for questioning and charging with the offence. His mum was allowed to go to the police station with him.
On arrival at Stevenage police station my friends son was separated from his mum, had his shoes removed, and was put in a detention room for one and a half hours in solitary confinement, while his mum waited in the waiting area at the front of the police station. [remember this is a 10 year old boy] He was then in the presence of his mum finger printed, DNA tested, and photographed. A little while later a phone call was made to the police station by to young girls, to admit they had broke the window earlier that evening. Even though the police new he was completely innocent of the crime, he was not allowed to leave Stevenage police station until the two girls had arrived. He was dearrested once the girls had arrived, and was allowed to go home with his mum.
My friends son received no apology from Hertfordshire constabulary for his false arrest, and nor has his finger prints, DNA test, or photograph been removed from police files, even though he was completely innocent. He finally got home at 10.15 pm thoughly shaken from the whole ordeal.
This is even more evidence that the police force within the UK are more interested in getting children’s finger prints, DNA, and photographs on the governments databases by stealth, than they are in catching the real offenders for the crime that has been committed.
Following my friends request all names have been withheld from this article.
Judge quashes teen’s conviction for growling at a dog
When teenager Kyle Little growled and barked at two Labradors, the dogs’ owner thought he was just being “a daft young lad”.
But two police officers who witnessed the incident had other ideas – and arrested the 19-year-old for committing a public order offence.
Little was subsequently charged and convicted at magistrates court of causing harassment, alarm or distress. He was fined £50 and ordered to pay £150 costs.
Unfortunately for the taxpayer, the bizarre case of the barking man didn’t end there.
The case went to appeal – at an estimated cost of £8,000 – and ended up before a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.
Mutts Ruby and Princess with owner’s son Karan Vedhara
Judge Beatrice Bolton quashed the conviction and rebuked the prosecuting authorities, saying: “The law is not an ass”.
She added: “I’m sure an expert on labradors could no doubt explain how distressed the dogs were, but I don’t think Section Five of the Public Order Act applies to dogs”.
The court heard how Little had been told off by police officers on patrol in Newcastle last August for swearing at them.
He then turned his attention to labradors Princess and Ruby, which were in their owner’s nearby garden.
The judge said: “I think growling or barking at a dog does not amount to a section five offence, even if a defendant has been told by the police to curb his language”
“He did curb his language and spoke to the dogs rather than continuing to swear at the police”.
Stuart Graham, prosecuting, said the dogs’ owner made no complaint about Little’s behaviour, but the officers decided his growling caused her “distress” and arrested him for a criminal offence.
The officers’ statements were that the householder was distressed at someone growling at the dog,’ he said. Little, from Newcastle, said outside court that he had seen the dogs leaping up on railings.
“They were both barking their heads off and so I did a daft little growl and went woof woof at them”.
“The next thing I knew I had been grabbed by the two police officers who bent my arms up behind my back and handcuffed me. They threw me into a van and whisked me off to the police station where they threw me into a cell for about five hours”.
Dog owner Sunita Vedhara said: “He was messing about being a daft young lad”. “We didn’t want to see him prosecuted, but the police came and said he was being taken to court, which we found surprising. The dogs weren’t really upset by it at all”.
Newcastle North MP Doug Henderson said: “People want to see the efforts of the police and Crown Prosecution Service concentrated on real criminals and real crime”.
Northumberland Police said: “We will be looking at what has happened and if a mistake has been made we will learn from this”.
The British Police Force – join up now and solve real crime, like arresting 10 year olds for something they did not do, keeping them petrified in solitary confinement for over an hour and a half, and finger printing, DNA testing, and photographing them, even though they are completely innocent. Or how about arresting teenagers for growling and barking at a ‘dog’, apply your local police force.
Do the police have your Childs DNA?
DNA profiles of 24,000 youngsters who have never been cautioned, charged or convicted of an offence are stored on the UK database.
MP Grant Shapps obtained the Home Office figures when a constituent’s son was wrongly arrested in a case of mistaken identity and DNA taken.
After protests, the local chief constable agreed to remove the teenager’s details, but Mr Shapps then discovered profiles of 24,000 youngsters aged 10 to 18 were stored.
“Police can take information without asking permission from parents since a change in the law in April 2004 and you can’t get details removed even though they are not guilty,” he said.
“I started to ask questions in parliament about the size of the database, and three-quarters of a million children are on the database.”
His investigations subsequently disclosed that some 24,000 youngsters were on the database “and shouldn’t be”.
“They are certainly all cases of kids picked up and never charged or even cautioned for anything,” the MP said. “So it is hard to see why the details should be kept on the database. They are innocent children, basically.”
Mr Shapps, who represents Welwyn Hatfield, is to launch a campaign – Children Off the National DNA Database – to get details erased from records.
Some facts about the DNA database you should know.
More people in Britain have had their DNA stored by the police than in any other country in the world.
By 2008, the state will have access to the genetic data of 4.25million – or one citizen in 14.
Hundreds of thousands of those on the database – which already contains three million names – will never have been charged with a crime.
The UK people will suffer grave infringements on their civil liberties and the danger of the Government selling the highly valuable information to insurers and mortgage companies.
The current total of three million names, or 5 per cent of the population, is the highest in the world. It outstrips even the second on the list – Austria – by five to one. More than 700,000 ten to 17-year-olds are on the British database – one in every ten in that age group.
Previously, police could only take the DNA of those charged with a crime – and it had to be immediately destroyed if the prosecution was dropped of if they were cleared in court.
But in 2000, under the instruction of the Prime Minister, this rule was swept away so officers no longer had to erase any data.
And in 2004 the power to take DNA was extended to cover anybody arrested – regardless of whether they were later charged or not.