Was I? Uncertain .....

(100 Posts)
TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 20:59:43

Just before 7 this evening, there was a knocking at my door. I went to answer it, and it was a boy I didn't recognise asking me to sponsor him "for school". I said no, I wouldn't, as I didn't know him and that I didn't think he ought to be knocking on the doors of people he didn't know. I asked him where he lived (he said, at the end of this road), I asked his name and the school he went to. I then stopped, as I felt that I was putting him in the sort of position I was trying to avoid by asking questions, iyswim. Anyway, he said his Dad was out there, well, he was, but six doors up and I couldn't see him till I went out of my gate.

I ran upsatirs to check on the three elder children coralled in the empty bath and then went out and approached the man, saying that I didn't think it suitable his child was knoocking, etc. etc. He said he wasn't alone, he was there and I said, he wasn't, he was six doors up and I didn't know he was there till I asked the child. He then, pleasantly enough, thanked me for my concern.

As I went back to my house, I saw a woman and girl on the opposite side of the road, with a similar looking bit of paper, chatting to someone.

Oh, and the sponsorship seemed to be a badly photocopied page asking for money for food and medicines for a chihuahua, with no obvious thing they were going to do.

I phoned 101 and couldn't get through and had my own children to deal with. I have (just) got through and they made a note, but said no crime had been committed and, if it happened again, I ought to try and call at the time. I replied I had but there was only so long I could abandon my own children. He said it would be passed to a relevant neighbourhood team and a note had been made in case it happened again.

Tbh, there are two things here for me: firstly, the child knocking and, secondly, the fact, esp. with the woman and child opposite and the sheet I saw, that it might be a scam; if they got £1 from every house on our street, they'd have £250-ish!

I have decided to call the school (I googled it, it exists roughly where he said and it fits (i.e. it's Catholic and they had Irish accents)).

Should I have done anything else? Did I do too much? Uncertain ......

gordyslovesheep Wed 02-Oct-13 22:20:45

I think you massively over reacted to be fair

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 02-Oct-13 22:26:55

Well, I asked AIBU, and I appear to be to most of you. I would, however, rather be flamed for being too interventionalist than to have merely said "No" to a seven year-old and spent the evening wondering if he had come to harm cold-calling others in the dusk, to all intents and purposes (until I asked) parentless and alone

Well, it wasn't either 'call 101' & the school OR ^^ that was it? hmm

You could have said 'No thank you. Where are your parents?' Then watched while he went to them smile hmm

wheretoyougonow Wed 02-Oct-13 22:27:42

I'm now laughing because I read it as though you had put three children in am empty bath for safety. I couldn't work out how this would contain them!

I think your getting a hard time. Just call the school he said tomorrow and let them know. I'm sure they wouldn't want to encourage door to door knocking if it's genuine. I'd it's not you will alert them to a child that might need some help.

Off to see if I can contain a six year old in the bath!

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:33:26

Yes, I could have, Chipping. Still not convinced about the whole sponsorship thing, though, and it was the combination of the two which made me hmm.

Ok, Gordys.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:40:01

Whereto, thank goodness YOU laughed, I was beginning to mentally recast myself as the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!! Yup, I'm going to do exactly as you suggested! <Wanders off feeling not such a total outcast>

You've done nothing wrong

It sounds like a big scam and I'd have called 101 if they'd been collecting for a "chihuahua" too.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:54:10

Laurie thank-you! Hoping for elucidation from the school tomorrow.

YANBU. A friend and I were approached in a restaurant by a young lad collecting money. When I asked for ID he and his (adult, female) companion legged it.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 23:04:27

Sunshine <gently creeping out from under my rock>.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:26:00

My own DD knocked on a few doors on our road about 18 months ago (when she was 10), with a clearly printed form from school about a sponsored bounce she and her siblings were doing. People were more than happy to sponsor the three of them and said how lovely and polite she was. I told her NOT to ask for the money up front (because as far as I'm concerned that's now how it works) but some people handed it over anyway. Tbh I didn't think anything of it at the time - I have three kids with very few family to sponsor them and DD was tired of taking back an almost empty form each year.

I would have been amazed if anyone had called the police over it though.

Tweasels Wed 02-Oct-13 23:29:42

Have I misread or did you say they were collecting money for medicine for a chihuahua?

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 23:31:06

My own DD knocked on a few doors on our road about 18 months ago (when she was 10), with a clearly printed form from school about a sponsored bounce she and her siblings were doing.

The form wasn't anything like this ^^. You obviously also had contact with the people they asked.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 23:32:36

No, Tweasels, that's what I said ....... Thanks for reading the op grin .....

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 23:34:49

Sorry, Heartbroken, came across as more aggressive than I meant it. I do sponsor the children opposite, when they knock and ask, but the scenario I encountered was odd, I believe.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:37:30

Sorry back at you too OP - I wasn't saying what you did was wrong! It just never occurred to me that it might be seen that way when I sent DD merrily on her way knocking doors.

That was why I mentioned the form from school - hopefully DD would have seemed above board to those she spoke to.

And were they really collecting for a chihuahua? DD was collecting for new playground equipment!

kali110 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:42:22

Not bu for wondering if it was a scam, however Think ywbu for saying that the child was too young to be out especially since the dad was there, and its not for you too say if they were too you, not your child.
Also think ywbu for calling the police before you had even spoken to the school.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 23:42:33

Look, I definitely read "medicines and food for a chihuahua" and the little boy said "for school". If for no other reason, I have to call the school tomorrow!!!!!! You know, I'd love to be wrong and then have to blame tiredness from DC4 (3 months)......

Tweasels Wed 02-Oct-13 23:42:55

I wouldn't have rang 101 or trapped the children in an empty bath and the Irish Catholic thing sounded a bit hmm

However, all those things aside, I don't think I would sponsor my own children in those circumstances. Fucking chihuahua medicine?? So on that basis YANBU.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 23:45:45

When I first tried to call the Police, Kali they were still going up and down the road and, had it been a known scam, they would have been able to deal with it. It was the non-emergency number. I get that different people allow their children different freedoms ....

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 23:48:58

I've given up bath-trapping, I had no idea it was so looked down on, I've tried to work on my phrasing to be less tactless and I shall never EVER dial the Police again .......

SummerRain Wed 02-Oct-13 23:54:28

It's a fairly common scam here in Ireland and has been for decades. Mostly because the Irish tend to give money to any urchin with a sponsorship card that knocks so it's a bloody lucrative scam.

And fgs, 95% of the Irish population is Catholic (or lapsed catholic) so it's a perfectly reasonable link to make.

Just don't refer to it as Éire OP, if you're speaking English use the English name for it: Ireland. Má tá tú ag labhairt Gaeilge go bhfuil sé ar a dtugtar Éire.

You don't call Germany Deutschland or Spain España if you're speaking in English do you?

DaleyBump Thu 03-Oct-13 00:06:26

I'm only marking place to see what the school say!

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:07:01

Summer thank-you for the information. I was trying, fwiw, to forestall cries of "Aren't you make generalisations/Couldn't they be from Northern Ireland?" as I recognised that they weren't and thought I would offend if I said "Southern Ireland" (as that isn't actually its name) and confuse if I said "Ireland". The road to hell is paved, etc. etc.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:07:55

DaleyBump grin

SummerRain Thu 03-Oct-13 00:24:27

It's the Republic of Ireland, it's the name of the country and we're quite proud of the first bit so you can't go wrong using it wink

You've not being having a successful night though so I'm going to stop winding you up now grin

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