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Feeling a bit silly for calling 101 now but didn't know what else to do!

(25 Posts)
GetYourRocksOff Thu 19-Oct-17 16:47:21

We live in a street with a few other young families, the kids next door and 2 doors up are all in the same class as my youngest who is 5. They all play in and out of each others gardens, with us parents knowing where they are and who is keeping an eye on them - it's took a while to get it all settled but it works well.

There's a little girl who lives 'down the hill' which is a good 5 minute walk away and well out of sight and sound of our houses. It's becoming a bit of a problem, she's playing in gardens when people aren't in and coming in quite late (well I mean after 6 but they are 5 and under and it's getting dark at that time!) None of us really know her mum other than by sight but I think we're going to have to speak to her at some point.

Anyway, today I heard noise 2 gardens up. Knowing they were out for the day I looked out and seen this girl from down the hill with 3 boys playing. I didn't do anything or think much until my door went. I answered and it was this group, now the girl is 5 and one of the other boys looked about the same age (p1) but the other 2 looked and sounded a lot younger, between 2 and 3. Two of the boys had no shoes on, no coats or jumpers. I said my son wasn't coming out to play. The I noticed one of the boys had 2 screwdrivers and a pair of pliers. I asked where he'd got them from and he said his house.

They all said they lived next to the girl. I just couldn't shake an uneasy feeling about this group all 5 and under wondering about with no shoes and tools on them. I didn't think they were going to hurt anyone, just worried about their safety. I know from experience in the past with the little girl that her mother doesn't know or appear to care where she is which is a worry in itself but adding in the other younger children it just concerned me.

I called 101 and went through it with the operator saying I was worried about them but not sure what to do. They said I'd done the right thing. I swear, about 5 minutes later the police were at my door. They were so short with me asking why I had called the police. I explained I was just worried but they asked what I expected them to do about it. I just said I felt bare foot children wondering about with tools wasn't really safe or normal.

A year ago my son (older) was attacked on his way home, it took the police 3 days to come round.

So I'm assuming I done the wrong thing in calling 101. Turns out they don't just 'log' things. I'm still worried about these children through.

Laiste Thu 19-Oct-17 16:54:54

I've rung 101 twice in the past and got good advice. Once an officer then came round a day later to log some more details. The other time the details were just logged while i was on the phone. So they do just log sometimes smile (the word log is now starting to lose meaning to me grin)

I would say you did the right thing. Their (the police officers) actions towards you personally aren't your fault and aren't important. What ever the officers personally thought of the situation you've done the right thing by getting this flagged up and it will get ... logged.

BobtheFireman Thu 19-Oct-17 16:59:03

Did they locate the kids?

Starlighter Thu 19-Oct-17 17:04:43

I think you did the right thing and I’m very disappointed by the reaction of the police. Surely the children’s safety is questionable and I don’t think that’s wasting police time at all.

Please continue to keep an eye on these children OP and don’t be put off in reporting again, they seem to be neglected at best. sad

GetYourRocksOff Thu 19-Oct-17 17:05:33

Not that I know off, I wouldn't have thought so as they told me they wouldn't do anything.

Brightredpencil Thu 19-Oct-17 17:15:50

A group of under 5s wandering around a distance away from their own homes into people's unattended gardens is completely worthy of 101 in my opinion!! What if they'd fallen in an unattended pond/been bitten by a dog/etc?! Very strange and worrying

RefuseTheLies Thu 19-Oct-17 17:18:37

I'd complain about the way the police officer spoke to you. Hardly professional.

Gunpowder Thu 19-Oct-17 17:21:26

Wow! So surprised at that reaction from the police. I think you did the right thing.

GetYourRocksOff Thu 19-Oct-17 17:22:08

Thanks, I'm feeling a bit less silly now.

I work with vulnerable families and have had lots of child protection training but was completely made to feel l was over reacting.

I explained it to my DH when he came in and before I even got to the bit about me calling 101 he said 'report it'.

PoliticalBiscuit Thu 19-Oct-17 17:25:28

Is the girl from your child's school? I'd speak to the safeguarding lead, that is dreadful.

Pidlan Thu 19-Oct-17 17:26:15

Depends on the area. I live on the kind of street where kids are always playing out late (and often shoeless!) but I think that it's rare. And the boys did seem young.

MancLife Thu 19-Oct-17 17:26:22

Why the police and not social services?

GetYourRocksOff Thu 19-Oct-17 17:29:03

I called 101 as a non emergency over calling Social Services as it was an imminent concern for their safety out of the home and I don't have names or details to give Social Services other than the girls first name.

I will be speaking to the school when we return after the break.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 19-Oct-17 17:30:05

What I expected them to do about it?
Well, locate the small children and take them home surely?

I think I might have taken the tools from them, put them in a bag and walked them home if it was 5 mins away. It wasn't unreasonable to phone the police on their non urgent line though.

Perhaps the call handler misinterpreted your call and didn't relay it correctly? She may have thought you said you were being threatened by youths with some sort of weapon? confused They certainly came out quickly so someone thought it was urgent.

GetYourRocksOff Thu 19-Oct-17 17:33:06

The more I think about it the more I think that's what has happened. They thought I was feeling endangered by a group of young children.

KeepItAsItIs Thu 19-Oct-17 17:52:12

You did the right thing.

I phoned 101 once when a young child, 5/6 was out playing, no adult around, I knew roughly where he lived and he was riding down a steep hill, away from home, around the corner and towards a busy road. I could hear the operator trying not to laugh as she said "so he's playing out then" which made me feel stupid. But this wasn't ok. I later learned the mum was very very lax with her supervision of her children and agencies certainlyshould have been involved,.if they weren't, and it's reporting stuff like this that should be taken seriously to build a picture.

youarenotkiddingme Thu 19-Oct-17 17:57:31

You did the right thing. You passed concerns onto a body of people who could intervene.

If they don't - unfortunately you can't control this.

But if you hadn't and heard something had happened I'm sure everyone would be questioning what happened and why you didn't report it.

Whatamuddleduck Thu 19-Oct-17 18:31:17

From what you describe I'd say you did the right thing. Young children unsupervised can come to harm very quickly. There is playing out with an adult keeping an eye which is good and being alone which is risky. I say this as a person that has worked in safeguarding for many years.

WellThisIsShit Thu 19-Oct-17 18:35:33

I think you did the right thing too.

Pigletthedog Thu 19-Oct-17 18:40:36

@GetYourRocksOff you absolutely did the right thing. I assume the children had gone by the time the police arrived? If not, the police should have taken the details of the children and taken them home to check with their parents what was going on. They should have made a direct referral to their Child Protection Team, which should (certainly where I live, don't know where you are) automatically be shared with social services.

GetYourRocksOff Thu 19-Oct-17 19:16:48

The police didn't ask anything about the children at all. I'd told the operator some information but the two at the door didn't ask anything. They did ask if the girl has asked for my son by name, which I thought odd.

I'm not happy with their response but I have to be satisfied that I done what I thought was right. I'll chat to the school as well. The head will be the girls 'named person' (I'm in Scotland and whilst the scheme has been rolled out our local authority, along with others, works within that framework already) so I will express my concerns to them.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 19-Oct-17 19:20:20

It's sad that the police didn't chase it up, after all they were there at your house, it really wouldn't have taken much effort.

I think your plans to inform the school are best. My advice to take them home yourself could have resulted in an angry confrontation with the mother, who you have to see everyday at school.

GetYourRocksOff Fri 20-Oct-17 07:44:22

I'm still shocked they actually turned up!

BobtheFireman Fri 20-Oct-17 18:23:42

I'm surprised they responded so quickly to what they deemed an unnecessary call-out.

GetYourRocksOff Fri 20-Oct-17 20:08:36

I know!

The girl was up here 3 times today and has been scuffing about all day on her own. No sign of the shoeless screwdriver wielding sidekicks though.

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