In the Daily Telegraph of 10th February a report of a case heard at Wimbledon Magistrates Court is given.
A boy of 15 had found a damaged motor scooter in an alley and decided to push it to the nearest police station because he thought it had been stolen. While on his way he was stopped by a policeman and subsequently charged with taking away without the owner’s consent, etc.
The owner said in evidence that it had been stolen and that he would have consented to any finder taking it to a police station.
The bench accepted defending counsel’s submission that the boy was doing his rightful duty in taking the scooter to a police station and was not committing an offence. This summons was dismissed.
However, he was fined £2 for using the scooter on the road while under age and not being insured. Presumably he would have been fined another 10s. for pushing it on the pavement!
Any further comment is unnecessary.
R.E. Smith – Harrow Weald.
[Assuming there is no more to this case than what appeared in the newspapers and news, this is a disgusting way in which to treat a law-abiding young citizen. He is liable to grow up anti-police, which is a pity, especially as every day brings fresh evidence of old Chicago-type crimes of violence in this country. The Magistrates and police would be fully occupied, one might think, with real criminals. What a splendid example to youth—already unable to get proper schooling because the busmen are on strike and won’t take them to school, or the teachers are on strike when they get there. As for their peace of mind when they become motorists. . . .