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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 ......

EllaFitzgerald Wed 02-Oct-13 21:09:02

I wouldn't have thought that too many people would have sponsored him. Most people are quite alert to the possibility of a scam nowadays, aren't they? I don't think I would have called 101 unless they were knocking on the doors of elderly people.

I think you did the right thing speaking to his dad though.

bsc Wed 02-Oct-13 21:19:54

"children corralled in the empty bath"???

YABU- why on earth would they be safe there?

So slippy, and easy to get a head injury, hurt themselves climbing out.

I'm not even going to pick up on the catholic thing...

BrandiBroke Wed 02-Oct-13 21:20:24

You called the police because a child knocked on your door and asked for sponsorship? I think that's very OTT personally. Fair enough don't give him anything but I would have just said 'sorry but I don't give out money at my door, bye' and closed the door.

CaptainSweatPants Wed 02-Oct-13 21:23:15

As the police said no crime was committed
No idea shy you stuck your 3 kids in an empty bath either

CoffeeTea103 Wed 02-Oct-13 21:24:42

so a child knocked on the door and you reported him. Ridiculous, ott and ridiculous again!

LindyHemming Wed 02-Oct-13 21:25:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

neunundneunzigluftballons Wed 02-Oct-13 21:28:25

'Wow nice' said the Irish catholic.

MidniteScribbler Wed 02-Oct-13 21:28:57

You called the police on a child knocking for sponsorship? Wow, overreaction of the year.

carabos Wed 02-Oct-13 21:30:48

Are we by any chance using "Catholic" and "Irish accents" as euphemisms for "gypsies" or "travellers" here? hmm

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 02-Oct-13 21:31:31


Belchica Wed 02-Oct-13 21:34:23

You called 101 for a kid asking for sponsor money at your door?

Get. A. Grip.

For the Catholic school/Irish accent comment alone YABVVU.

SauvignonBlanche Wed 02-Oct-13 21:35:24

it fits (i.e. it's Catholic and they had Irish accents))

midwifeandmum Wed 02-Oct-13 21:35:40

Comeon ppl, she only asked for an opinion not an assassination. I agree it was over reacting but i agree that this sounds like a scam to me too. Im 2nd generation irish catholic and wasnt offended. Also she didnt say they were travellers.

MurderOfBanshees Wed 02-Oct-13 21:37:15

We actually had an email from the local neighbourhood watch/police telling us to report kids door knocking for "sponsorship" as it's a scam that's been happening a lot here. So with that in mind YANBU, if it's not a scam then no harm done, if it is then you might have helped some more vulnerable people.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 02-Oct-13 21:38:52

I wouldn't have thought anything of it - it's what we used to do when we were kids and fundraising for school/brownies/guides/other hobbies. It is far less common these days, which is a bit of a shame really as I think it's good to get the wider community involved and his parents were with him?! They weren't holding his hand, but they were only a few doors up and presumably knew where he was & would have come running if he'd shouted.

Feminine Wed 02-Oct-13 21:43:56

I don't get the Irish accent/school bit.

Its ok to go to Catholic school, minus that accent.

Belchica Wed 02-Oct-13 21:45:24

I think noting the schools name and putting a call into the (presumably irish hmm ) headmistress the following day would have been a more reasonable reaction.

Calling 101 was a complete overreaction and unreasonable to waste police time on this.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:00:29

Thnks, Midwife.

I meant, the school the child said he went to was Catholic and they had an accent from Eire so I felt it made it likely he was telling the truth, so it was perhaps worth calling the school. There are lots of people originally from Ireland around here, so I am aware of different accents and I wasn't for a moment suggesting travellers.

I was worried about the elderly, Ella, as there are quite a few very elderly who live on this road and there has been a certain amount of low-level crime (things taken from front gardens, etc. etc.), enough to make them worried.

Murder, yes, that's why I called 101, as the sponsorship form didn't quite ring true. I did not waste Police time, as they felt it sufficiently significant to log it and alert the local team, in case a pattern of behaviour emerged.

He was the same age as one of my DCs, and I felt the situation was inappropriate. I certainly wouldn't allow my DCs to be knocking and asking strangers for money, whether I was there or not.

Well, Captain and bsc, the term "coralling" was unintentionally provocative. I didn't write "I made sure the children were safe by letting out the bath water in order to answer the peremptory knocking at my door, thinking it was an emergency due to the unusual time of night for a call and the way they were hammering", but I might as well have done. I made a judgement, and I believe the correct one, knowing my children, the safety measures we have in place, non-slip bathmats, etc. etc. I so did not see THAT being such an issue .....

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:03:35

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.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 02-Oct-13 22:03:45

To be fair OP it did read like you had put your children in the empty bath grin

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:08:22

<Mutter mutter>, yeah because that's where they live when they're not at school, Alis, it's cheaper than buying a cage .....

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 02-Oct-13 22:09:41

I'm going to write that down in my tips and hints book for when I have kids op grin

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:11:52

:D just one of my many, useful suggestions. They're just as happy under an up-turned baby bath ......

Do I need to say "joke"? Grrr ...

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 02-Oct-13 22:19:26

Oh, and I know it's "cor R alling", but it's hard to type well and proof read easily on a phone when tired.

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