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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 ......

farewellfarewell Thu 03-Oct-13 00:25:30

Erm, yes southern Ireland would have been marginally more offensive than Éire op..............

MangoTiramisu Thu 03-Oct-13 00:34:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:34:37

If only you knew my surname in RL, Summer and Farewell ....

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:35:35

Oh, and I refer you again to the tiredness inducing DC4 ........

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:41:29

Mango felt I dealt with that, er, mis-understanding of my op earlier. Even Summer whom I appear to have (again unintentionally) riled (yes, Summer, not my most successful evening) could see what I meant with the Catholic school sttement. Well, the Police, when I asked them directly, did not say I had done the wrong thing in calling. No, no, I am not that sort of neighbour but my good intentions towards that child seem to be very well hidden on this thread.

waltermittymissus Thu 03-Oct-13 00:45:11

Eire??? grin

TalkativeJim Thu 03-Oct-13 00:47:55

If I saw a poorly Catholic chihuahua in a balaclava trying to break into my car, I'd probably hurl my kids into an empty bath too OP.

Don't feel bad.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:49:42

Ok, Walter, I am sooooo not going to attempt to answer that (as I will get it wrong .....).

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:51:26

Thanks, Talkative, it gets you like that, sometimes.

waltermittymissus Thu 03-Oct-13 00:53:50

I just think it's funny, nobody says that grin

*making light of it, OP. It's really not a big deal. As an Irish catholic, I knew what you meant wink

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 00:59:16

Ah, ha, Walter! At least I didn't call it the Emerald Isle ...... grin. What is the equivalent mis-nomer for the UK? Why is Eire funny/anachronistic/whatever?

StElmo Thu 03-Oct-13 04:04:23

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Sockywockydoodah Thu 03-Oct-13 04:45:19

StElmo there's REALLY no need for that. OP has taken all the YABUs in good spirit. No need to trample in late calling names and generally being unpleasant.

MammaTJ Thu 03-Oct-13 05:48:44

Not liking the 'jokes' about leaving kids in the bath very much.

It may be because I had a safeguarding children session yesterday though and they always upset me.

Do you people who are finding it funny realise that the bath is where poor Victoria Climbie lived?

fuzzpig Thu 03-Oct-13 06:57:35

I don't think YWBU really. If it's all innocent then nothing will come of you making a brief phonecall, it's not like the police are going to hammer down the door of an innocent child, no harm done <shrug> And if it was something weird/dodgy then you've done your bit.

Also WTF who collects money for a chihuahua hmm I don't see how that could be related to school (did he actually say it was school, or a club or something?)... and I thought the idea of sponsorship as opposed to just normal collecting money for charity, was that the sponsored child actually does something for the money.

It sounds quite odd to me TBH, and as others have said the door to door knocking can be a common scam. So maybe you are right - the school will hopefully be able to tell you.

r3d3 Thu 03-Oct-13 07:07:07

Ywnbu; what fuzzpig said.

NicknameIncomplete Thu 03-Oct-13 07:26:29

YWNBU this is a well known scam. Using children would make it easier as more people are probably more likely to give money to a child collecting for a school rather than an adult collecting for something else.

My dds school tell us to only ask family & friends when doing sponsors & never to go knocking on other peoples doors.

YouTheCat Thu 03-Oct-13 07:35:51

If someone came knocking on my door asking me to sponsor them to raise funds for a chihuahua I think I'd be pretty dubious too, no matter what their accent was.

Are these children in training to work as doorsteppers for charities? grin

OrangeMochaFrappucino Thu 03-Oct-13 07:41:05

All that's needed is for someone to pop up demanding "but WHY didn't you donate to the poorly chihuahua? Why do you hate animals so much??" and the villification of the OP will be complete as a child-abusing, chihuahua-murdering, Catholic-persecuting, police-distracting racist and every single ounce of offence will have been extracted from her post.

fortyplus Thu 03-Oct-13 07:48:52

Those of you who think the op is BU - if you take the situation at face value then yes of course. However using a child to knock at the door is a well known technique used by distraction burglars preying on elderly vulnerable people. So no I don't think there was a child protection issue, but definitely not unreasonable to call 101 - and where I live the Police would've sent a car to check up them. The scum who carry out doorstep crime are often known to them already. No judgement on race, religion or accent - have they got form for preying on little old ladies.

WhatchaMaCalllit Thu 03-Oct-13 09:03:32

Oh for goodness sake.

You had a knock on the door (you did forget to say you were bathing your children at the time and I too thought that you put your fully clothed children in a dry bath to keep them safe). A child asked you to sponsor them for some such school activity. Said child had an Irish access and goes to a Catholic school and you couldn't see his parent/guardian at the time so you phoned the non-emergency number 101 to report it? Did I get that right?

I think you completely overreacted. I would, however, rather be flamed for being too interventionalist - how were you being interventionalist? You were being over the top, panicking but where is the intervention?

Do you have children knocking on Halloween trick or treating????

I've had at least 10 children in the past week knock on my door asking for sponsorship for something in their school but I just say no and close the door.

YABVU, I think.

SouthernComforts Thu 03-Oct-13 09:17:19

All that's needed is for someone to pop up demanding "but WHY didn't you donate to the poorly chihuahua? Why do you hate animals so much??" and the villification of the OP will be complete as a child-abusing, chihuahua-murdering, Catholic-persecuting, police-distracting racist and every single ounce of offence will have been extracted from her post.

^ hus

SouthernComforts Thu 03-Oct-13 09:19:16

Bollocks. I meant 'this'.

This thread is the best example of deliberate misunderstanding and nitpicking I've ever seen.

SummerRain Thu 03-Oct-13 09:27:16

Jelly, but won't anyone think of the poor sick chihuahua? [wrings hands] He's the real victim in all this sad


Two, I'm not riled... The Eire thing is just a pet peeve of mine, it's simply not the name of the country unless you're speaking as gaeilge but its so common among the British.

I certainly don't think you were wrong to be concerned about the situation, it sounds suspicious and it's a common enough scam that even without the chihuahua involvement I'd have been a bit hmm too.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 03-Oct-13 12:36:48

I've only just got back in after RL this morning, so I will have to respond later to individuals but thank-you for all most of your comments really, St. Elmo?!!.

I have called the school and the Headteacher is to call me back as he is out. However, the school has a child corresponding to the name and description I gave, though older than he claimed (tbh, I said I wasn't expecting them to confirm or deny that, so don't start at me because they did); they do not currently have any sponsored events running (chihuahuas or chincillas or anything) and they were also concerned enough to want the HT to return my call and speak to me personally. I left my name, address and number and I also told them of my conversation with 101 (and if she thought I over-reacted, she was polite enough not to say!!!).

To be continued ........

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