MP to ask police force why it investigated children building woodland den

Chi Onwurah

Chi Onwurah

First published 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.''

 

Comments (5)

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6:45pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Darkroom Devil says...

Was this public land? And if so what right do the police have to move children on who are playing quietly?

Just asking as I'm no legal expert.
Was this public land? And if so what right do the police have to move children on who are playing quietly? Just asking as I'm no legal expert. Darkroom Devil
  • Score: 1

8:20pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Kenlally53 says...

Building dens and camps , is all part of growing up and gives kids a lot of skills they may need in future life. Leadership,reliabili
ty,trust,working as a team , so in the words of pink flood, hey', policemen leave those kids alone,'!
Building dens and camps , is all part of growing up and gives kids a lot of skills they may need in future life. Leadership,reliabili ty,trust,working as a team , so in the words of pink flood, hey', policemen leave those kids alone,'! Kenlally53
  • Score: 1

8:39pm Mon 21 Apr 14

durhamchap says...

Police have to investigate any call/complaint they receive whether they think it is stupid or not and if they didn't there would be a caller complaining the police had done nothing.Damned if they do and damned if they don't. !
Police have to investigate any call/complaint they receive whether they think it is stupid or not and if they didn't there would be a caller complaining the police had done nothing.Damned if they do and damned if they don't. ! durhamchap
  • Score: 10

9:41pm Mon 21 Apr 14

spottycow says...

We had lads and lasses building a so called den about a couple of hundred feet from houses when finished a few had what can be called a rave and one poor lass was left drugged up by so called MATES . So i think the COPPERS did the right thing
We had lads and lasses building a so called den about a couple of hundred feet from houses when finished a few had what can be called a rave and one poor lass was left drugged up by so called MATES . So i think the COPPERS did the right thing spottycow
  • Score: 2

10:25pm Mon 21 Apr 14

diga says...

I recently carried out a litter pick at my local nature reserve - a lot of that was crisp wrappers and pop bottles/cans in the bushes/dens.... I've no problem with children being children as long as they take responsibility for their belongings. I also used to climb trees and make dens. :-)
I recently carried out a litter pick at my local nature reserve - a lot of that was crisp wrappers and pop bottles/cans in the bushes/dens.... I've no problem with children being children as long as they take responsibility for their belongings. I also used to climb trees and make dens. :-) diga
  • Score: 4

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