A mother was stopped and questioned by police while she was out walking with her nine-month-old daughter. According to Paula Andrew, an anonymous person called police when he/she spotted her walking outside with her young daughter. The unknown caller expressed concern that the baby was outside in cold temperatures, so that’s when police responded.
Andrew says officers approached her asking if her daughter was cold and wanting to know her name and address. The 43-year-old mother refused to give them her information, and the officers accused her of not cooperating with them.
“I told them that it was a mother’s right to play with her daughter and it wasn’t a co-operation thing,” said Andrew. “I added that they’d be taking her to the social workers next if I gave them my details. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, so I walked off.”
“It can take more than an hour for police to turn up if I call in complaining about yobs at the back of my house – and sometimes they don’t attend at all,” continued Andrew. “But an anonymous call can send them racing to the promenade.”
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A spokesperson for the North Yorkshire Police Department responded to questions about the incident, saying, “All reports concerning the safety of children are taken very seriously by North Yorkshire Police and must be properly checked out. If Ms. Andrew has any concerns about the way this incident was dealt with, we would encourage her to get in touch so we can discuss the matter with her.”
Ex-police officer and writer Stephen Hayes disagrees with the way the police handled the call and says that it speaks to a larger problem with modern law enforcement.
“This is by far the barmiest cold case I have ever come across,” said Hayes. “Do officers now need a thermometer to take children’s temperatures along with their truncheons? The mother is clearly not committing a crime by taking her child for a walk along the promenade. In most areas it is easier to order a takeaway pizza and get it delivered than get a response to an emergency call, so it is astonishing that, when there is a swift response, it is to a totally innocent lady playing with her baby.”
Andrew insists her daughter was dressed appropriately for the cold weather and says it is not unhealthy for a child to be playing outside on a chilly day.