August 18, 2013

"No 11-year-old child should have to see his parent treated like a criminal for no reason whatsoever."

"And no Englishman enjoying a ramble with his son should face examination by police at the roadside on suspicion of being a sexual predator. Astonishingly – and I find it difficult, some days after the event, to comprehend that I am writing this now – this is what has just  happened to my son and me."

Writes the well-known author Will Self.

23 comments:

Inga said...

It's a sad sign of the times we live in when a man traveling with a young child is subject to suspicion of being a pedophile and kidnapper. While the security guard was probably just being a dick, the situation of a man and a kidnapped child could've been a real one.

Rob said...

Sweet Jaysus, if they detain every Englishman who's suspected of being a pervert, there'll be no one left to teach at the public schools.

David said...

Try being a teen age boy who wants to get a babysitting job.

fivewheels said...

In addition to the familiar presumption of guilt for men having any interaction with children, even their own, there is this from the story:

"an alert that necessitated the calling out of a woman officer from over 30 miles away in order to attend, since there was a presumption that a child might have to be taken into custody."

A manly constable isn't allowed to do that?

William said...

Well, if he didn't insist on dressing the kid in a thong bikini, none of this would have happened.

Paco Wové said...

"if they detain every Englishman who's suspected of being a pervert, there'll be no one left to teach at the public schools."

They could repurpose all the police who are no longer pursuing actual criminals. Remember, it's a lot safer for the cops if you only harass the law-abiding.

Lyle said...

Inga's thinking is the very problem itself. It's now normal to suspect that a man walking with a child could be a kidnapping situation.


Ben Morris said...

Very whiny IMO. So one security guard was stupid. The police looked into it and sided with him quickly.

Seems like the kind of story barely worth telling while slightly tipsy at a dinner party.

chrisnavin.com said...

Apparently, it was a time for Self-examination

jr565 said...

LEts first say that it sounds like the guards were totally wrong. That being said, It's not as if there was no reason whatsoeer as to why he was viewed suspiciously.
It just wasn't a good reason (in retrospect).

"And no Englishman enjoying a ramble with his son should face examination by police at the roadside on suspicion of being a sexual predator."
No Englishmen? Not even the ones that are sexual predators diddling their kids? They should be above reproach too?

Now what did the cop find suspicious that made him think this guy might have been a pedophile, or was suspicious? I couldn't really answer that.It sounds like a reach.
But that doesn't mean that it wasn't a legitimate suspicion.

Remember, George Zimmerman found TM suspicious, and TM thought GZ was a pedophile. What vibe did GZ give off that made him into a guy who was out to rape TM?
We can't know a lot of this until hindsight proves us right or wrong.

chrisnavin.com said...

Apparently, it was a time for Self-examination

Wayworn Wanderer said...

The cops aren't only pigs in the USA; they are pigs in the UK as well.

The Godfather said...

"If you see something, say something". Maybe the rent-a-cop overreacted, but then we have only Will Self's description of the event; perhaps what the rent-a-cop saw didn't look quite so innocent.

I'd suggest to Mr. Self that he remember that the objective was to protect his son. If he thought about that, instead of his own pride, perhaps he'd be more understanding.

LTMG said...

@Inga There aren't enough LEOs or even human beings on the planet to protect all of us from every "could be".

Carl said...

Pssht. His revenge is to write a story about it? Maybe he should have told the police that the guard invited them to cross the college grounds, but had his hand in his pants and seemed to be fiddling with himself as his eyes were glued to Self's son...so they decided to take the long walk around. The guard was very upset to hear this -- maybe that's why he called the police? And this idea of pederasty...I wonder why that was so close to the surface of that fellow's mind? He did have kind of an odd way of commenting on the fact that there were so many 18-year-olds in college...I wouldn't have said anything, officer, really, but here you are asking questions and it was a very strange encounter...

Mary Beth said...

The police can stop and interrogate a man because some people, at some times, in some places are bad and society must be protected. Awesome./sarc

I always wonder about the sexual impulses of people who are quick to assume someone else is a pedophile. Is it similar to the way that liars always think that everyone else is lying too?

Bob said...

I get the feeling that the "well-known" Mr. Self is indignant that someone of his celebrity was stopped as if he was just anyone. Perhaps he said "Do you know who I am?" to the security guard, which is a guaranteed way to foster resentment in the person you ask the question of.

nick said...

"Wordsworth and the Romantics are the enemy. They're the bastards that have created the world that we now live in, in a weird way. They've created international tourism, mass tourism. Wordsworth is the patron saint of tourism. They've created the idea of the picturesque. They've created the idea that beauty exists somewhere other than where you live." Will Self, "Obsessed With Walking."

nick said...

"Wordsworth and the Romantics are the enemy. They're the bastards that have created the world that we now live in, in a weird way. They've created international tourism, mass tourism. Wordsworth is the patron saint of tourism. They've created the idea of the picturesque. They've created the idea that beauty exists somewhere other to where you live." Will Self, "Obsessed with Walking."

Bryan C said...

They probably should lock him up anyway, just to be safe. The mother can always find another sperm donor somewhere if she really wants one around. Preferably one that knows better than to endanger her children and waste police resources by insisting on being seen near kids in public.

Craig Landon said...

I guess Sherlock Holmes is no longer required reading for security guards in England, and their deductive reasoning has suffered accordingly.

SJ said...

@fivewheels,

"an alert that necessitated the calling out of a woman officer from over 30 miles away in order to attend, since there was a presumption that a child might have to be taken into custody."

A manly constable isn't allowed to do that?


Not sure what to think of this, but it does mesh with what I recall from the novels of P.D. James. (She apparently worked in various branches of Civil Service in England, and had some familiarity with Police practice. This helped her write many detective novels.)

In several of her detective novels, the Metropolitan Police have to deal with children who have witnessed a crime. It was apparently standard practice to bring in a Woman Police Constable (shorthanded as WPC) in such situations.

This is apparently standard practice in England, and has been for several decades.

The problems caused by summoning the nearest WPC, and not finding one within 30 miles, sounds like standard bureaucratic rules meeting a lack of resources.

TMink said...

Mary Beth wrote: "I always wonder about the sexual impulses of people who are quick to assume someone else is a pedophile."

As do I. I also wonder if they were sexually victimized and never got help for it.

Trey