AIBU to report this little fucker to the police?

(139 Posts)
Londonista123 Wed 04-Nov-15 08:47:37

Sorry - long but genuine dilemma.

My flat and car were egged on Halloween (in vast quantities, if it matters). I was miffed but put it down to not answering the door to T'or'T'ers - until I realised that my flat and car were the only ones targeted in my building of 20+ flats. Car and flat are not next to each other.

After some thought, I put it down to a particular kid in my building. We've had a few run-ins before this:

- A few months ago I accidentally photographed him while documenting something untoward that's happening around the building, that I photograph and send to the council to report (excuse the vagueness, but think fly tipping / antisocial behaviour or similar). His angry mum knocked on the door a few minutes later and, when I didn't answer, left me an illiterate note asking me to stop photographing her son / show her the photo. I was reluctant to talk to her because I don't know who was involved in the thing I was actually photographing, and didn't want to mention it to her.

She caught me in my car a few weeks later (son was with her), asked me why I was photographing her son, none too politely, and I explained that I was photographing something else. She may now think I'm a paedophile for all I know.

(I also wanted to scream that I am free to photograph whatever the hell I want in public, but never mind.)

- On another occasion recently the son was making a serious racket directly outside my door (rollerskating up and down, shouting loudly downstairs to his mate). I went out and asked him to stop, which he did. I think he's around 12/13 y.o.

I really don't know most other neighbours here, certainly none with kids, and don't know who else could match me with the car, and would particularly want to egg my house.

I put a posted, anonymous note through their flat door to the effect that I'd reported their kid to the police for his Halloween "joke", and he was welcome to come by and apologise if they wanted me to withdraw the complaint. I was hoping a) his mum would give him a bollocking, since I doubt she knew and b) to frighten the hell out of him.

Got home to another note through door: I think you sent me a note [...] you say my son did a Halloween JOKE [...] go ahead and report him to the police if you think it was him [...] but report yourself at the time time for photographing my son.

I'm now even more certain it was him, and angry because the response I expected was to have the son say sorry, not an aggressive note from his mum.

So... do I now actually go to the police about what is technically "criminal damage"? I feel that the local police (like police everywhere) have much, much bigger fish to fry, and frankly I'd be embarrassed to ring up. I also think he's unlikely to do this to me again since he's now been caught.

AIBU to report this, and have the police round to "chat" about not egging houses?

OTOH - I'm angry. If this was my son, he'd be cleaning up the mess and writing an apologetic letter, whereas his mum's note seems to think she believes his behaviour is justified.

NoManJan Wed 04-Nov-15 08:51:58

I think you were a naive to think you were going to get an apology. Can you prove it was him? If not, I wouldn't bother going to the police.

Birdsgottafly Wed 04-Nov-15 08:53:54

You've handled this all wrong.

I would be wanting to know why my child (and 12/13 is still a child) was being photographed by an adult.

So would the police.

Can't you go and speak to the Mother and sort this out properly?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Wed 04-Nov-15 08:54:57

You are dealing with one of those parents, whos kid is an angel, and would never do anything wrong. Sorry you cant win with these people.

ladyvimes Wed 04-Nov-15 08:57:45

YABU as you have no proof it was this child. The police will not do anything if you have no proof (eye-witness, CCTV). YWU to post a note through their door as you have no proof. How do you know it wasn't someone else you have annoyed with your 'documenting'?
Also, if I thought someone was photographing my child I would ask to see the photo and ask for it to be deleted. Yes you can photograph whatever you like in a public place but for neighbourly relations I think you should have just deleted the photo with this child in.

DonkeyOaty Wed 04-Nov-15 09:00:20

So you sent an anonymous note with your address on?

Anyway. Best not get hopes up about apology.

(Slow typer, expecting thread to have moved on hugely by now)

Enjolrass Wed 04-Nov-15 09:00:36

Yabu to send a note saying you have reported him to the police, when you haven't and have no proof.

The photographing situation is odd. How did she know he happened to have been in the photo? Did he tell her? Did he actually feel you were photographing him.

The police won't be interested in either tbh. They may speak to you and ask to see the photo. But, if it's how you say it was, nothing will come of it.

She was right to question it though.

This sounds like it's getting out of hand tbh. She may genuinely think it isn't him. She may know it's him and not care.

I don't think any of you have handled it well.

aprilanne Wed 04-Nov-15 09:01:17

you are in the wrong photographing the child .i would be mad if it were my so .but if i thought he damaged your car he would be sent to clean it .but unless you can prove it was him i would leave alone because you are likely to get into trouble yourself and you can,t photo who you like in public well not children anyway

TweenageAngst Wed 04-Nov-15 09:01:37

Did you honestly think that the mother of a kid who thinks it is OK to behave like this would give a shiny shit what you think. She probably bought the eggs.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 04-Nov-15 09:04:04

as bad as his behaviour might be, you CANT go and photograph peoples kids OP! so in her mind its 6 of one, half a dozen of the other

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 04-Nov-15 09:04:25

You are more likely to get into trouble for photographing the child than he is to get into trouble for making a mess of your car and flat.

Your reason that you were photographing something else is unlikely to be seen as anything other than an excuse, and a probably dodgy one too.

My elderly father got caught out like this - he lives next door to a primary school and is a governor of the school - he took a couple of photos for the school BUT a school mum saw him, didn't know who he was, so asked him who he was and then reported him, despite his explanation. The police came and had a chat, but they accepted his explanation, as did the head of the school. Could have been a lot worse though!

SoupDragon Wed 04-Nov-15 09:04:47

You have precisely zero proof that this boy egged your flat and car.

Londonista123 Wed 04-Nov-15 09:05:11

Thanks all. Lady - I don't have proof, but I (however my OP makes me look) have no or good relations with everyone else in the block, so there's literally no-one else out there I can think would do this.

Birds - the mum, from what I can see, is not particularly friendly or rational, so I'm not inclined to drop by. The thing I was photographing is fairly serious and if this family is involved I'd rather they not know I was reporting it.

SoupDragon Wed 04-Nov-15 09:06:06

You are more likely to get into trouble for photographing the child...

So, what you are saying is that you can't take a photo anywhere or of anything if there is a child there.

ladyvimes Wed 04-Nov-15 09:06:14

Tweenage a child that behaves like what? So far the only thing this child has done to the OP is make a racket outside her front door whilst rollerskating with his mates (which he stopped immediately when asked to by the OP), hardly the crime of the century!

Londonista123 Wed 04-Nov-15 09:07:29

Donkey - "So you sent an anonymous note with your address on?"

No - no name, no address.

(Which makes me wonder how they knew it was me, unless they now think I'm the building's Crazy Lady.) My logic was: I'm 90% sure it was him, and that mum didn't know. Mum would ask him about note. He would 'fess up.

batters Wed 04-Nov-15 09:08:22

The thing is, you don't know for sure whether it was this boy who egged your stuff. If you are documenting other stuff happening round your building, is your flat in an area where there is trouble in general?

I am also not sure that you can legally photograph who you like.

multivac Wed 04-Nov-15 09:08:42

Without proof, you'll be laughed out of the police station. Surely you can see that?

multivac Wed 04-Nov-15 09:09:27

And of course you can legally photograph whom you like, including children, if it's in a public space.

Londonista123 Wed 04-Nov-15 09:10:09

stop "as bad as his behaviour might be, you CANT go and photograph peoples kids OP!"

It was a photo taking in about 20sq metres of the grounds, in which (as I realised after) her kid was sat on the pavement nearby. It's really not a photo of him.

Toughasoldboots Wed 04-Nov-15 09:11:38

You can legally photograph anyone in a public space

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 04-Nov-15 09:11:48

So you accused a kid without a shred of proof? His mum reacted. Yabu.

Chillyegg Wed 04-Nov-15 09:12:07

Oooooo erm you sound like a bit of a nightmare yourself.
Yep I'd be majorly pissed of if someone was photographing my kid aswell. You should delete the photo.
The kid roller blading is a minor issue and he stopped, the post a PA note through someones door was kbobbish.
You don't have any grounds tof report to the police either.

treaclesoda Wed 04-Nov-15 09:12:10

I thought the OP was photographing something else, not the actual child?

multivac Wed 04-Nov-15 09:13:28

Could have been a lot worse though!

Erm, no, it couldn't.

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