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MP to ask police force why it investigated children building woodland den
5:13pm Monday 21st April 2014 in News
An MP has asked a police force for an explanation after an officer was sent to investigate a group of children making a den in a wood.
Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah said she is worried an apparent over-reaction by Northumbria Police made a group of girls enjoying the outdoors feel like criminals.
Ms Onwurah was responding to comments by a mother who described how a police officer told her daughter and her friends to tear down the den in Warkworth Woods, Great Park, Newcastle, and move on.
She is reported to have said: ''I just couldn't believe they would send a police officer for that. It is incredible.
''When I heard the kids were going to the park to build a den I was delighted.
"They had no drink, drugs or loud music - they had pop and crisps from Asda which they'd had the foresight to buy on tgheir way as they knew it'd be a long day.
"They even texted me a picture showing me how the den was getting on mid-afternoon."
The mother-of-two, a primary school teacher, said that days earlier some boys had been ordered to take down a tree house they had built during the holidays.
Miss Onwurah said she was writing to Northumbria Police.
Today she tweeted: ''So where should kids play in the holidays?''
Earlier she said: "We tell them they shouldn't be spending all their time online and then when they try to meet in the real world the police tell them to move on.
"There is far too much mistrust and downright demonisation of young people".
Northumbria Police said it had been responding to a complaint about teenagers hanging around in the woodlands.
The force said: ''Any reports of anti-social behaviour in the area are treated as a priority for the local police team as local residents have recently reported problems with trees being damaged in the woods and motorbikes being illegally driven.
''An officer attended and spoke to youths. It was found that no offence had been committed and they were advised that we had received a complaint and advice was given.''
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