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Spoken to by the police

(289 Posts)
Foldinthecheese Mon 20-Apr-20 22:07:59

This morning my husband and I took our three children on a long walk/scoot to a local park that is probably two miles away. We had seen the recent police guidance that said stopping for a snack during a long period of exercise is allowed, so we packed some crisps, fruit and our water bottles, intending to have them in the park before heading back home. We have twin DSes, four, and a one year old DD.

While sitting in the park (in a green space, far from any paths, with no one nearby) two police officers approached and said we needed to move on because what we were doing was against guidelines and someone had called to report us. It wasn’t a problem to leave, but I was a little annoyed by the situation. I mentioned the guidelines regarding a snack during long exercise and they seemed unaware of this, and asked to see it on my phone. They then said that it was an issue of public perception, which I understand, but I’m not sure why that would impact the legality of our actions. One officer suggested that we should have gone to a park closer to our house, but the space isn’t really comparable and it’s more of a play park: lots of equipment that is currently covered in caution tape.

I don’t know really why I’m writing this, except I feel frustrated. We’ve followed all the guidelines for the past month and it’s annoying that the police seem unaware of the guidance that has been made publicly available that says what we did was acceptable. It was also just really nice to go slightly further than the one mile radius around our house and enjoy seeing the flowers in the park, and it feels like it put a dampener on the morning.

GabriellaMontez Mon 20-Apr-20 22:15:41


The police need to keep up. The public are expected to know what's acceptable. Even when it sometimes changes. They should too. Ignorance isn't an excuse.

LH1987 Mon 20-Apr-20 22:16:24

I think some people are actually enjoying the drama of a pandemic and lock down and are loving the opportunity to report anyone to the police hmm. I wouldn't let it bother you, some people are just a bit sad.

Veterinari Mon 20-Apr-20 22:21:57

Meh! The police are busy, they followed up on a report, you had a conversation, all was fine. It's reasonable for them to speak to you - you could have been picnicking for hours for all they knew. No harm done.
Couldn't get het up about it.

Randomschoolworker19 Mon 20-Apr-20 22:23:14

I think it's annoying if you've been following all the guidelines but got caught out this one time, especially when flouters seemingly do it all the time and get off Scot free.

It's like that guy who always speeds and never gets caught... You always follow the speed limit but one time there's an emergency and you panic and in your panic you go slightly over and there's a copper waiting for you and you get caught.

Sometimes it's just sod's law.

GabriellaMontez Mon 20-Apr-20 22:24:13

Too busy to know the rules they're enforcing?

mum2jakie Mon 20-Apr-20 22:25:16

You did nothing wrong. Shame it was spoiled by someone being overzealous.

sauvignonblancplz Mon 20-Apr-20 22:25:19

Do you were having a picnic?

Sharpandshineyteeth Mon 20-Apr-20 22:26:27

It seems like sometimes they just want to say something. I take my kids to a local lake that is always patrolled now. Once we got told off for looking in the water. Another time because one of my children climbed a tree.

Windyatthebeach Mon 20-Apr-20 22:27:08

Shame they aren't as bothered about rainypuddles ndn...

Anotherthink Mon 20-Apr-20 22:27:41

They weren't flouting anything though random, they're permitted a snack and they're permitted exercise.

I'd be pretty annoyed too op. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it would irritate the hell out of me. What difference would it have made if you were in the park near you, the guidelines don't say to go to the nearest park.

Sweetheart1313 Mon 20-Apr-20 22:27:43

The police are being way too cautious in a lot of situations, particularly regarding outdoor activities - unless you’re part of a crowd clapping for the NHS, which is perfectly ok hmm

I think quite a lot of people have lost their common sense in recent weeks, probably because of all the overly dramatic news stories and crap posted on social media. I don’t understand why people can’t have a sit down in the park or even sunbathe - if they’re with people in their household and at least 2m away from others they are very unlikely to spread/catch the virus. Same with people moaning about cars being on the road - you can’t catch the virus in a car on your own!

Campervan69 Mon 20-Apr-20 22:31:02

I agree it must have been very annoying especially as you were completely within all the guidelines doing exactly what you were doing. I think the police need to take a step back - I've seen them going up to people sitting for five minutes in the sun on their own. I've seen articles saying how important it is to get vitamin D and a lot of people don't have gardens to sit in so this will be the only exposure they get to the sun. I think it's ridiculous if somebody is sitting on their own in the sun they should be left in peace.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 20-Apr-20 22:31:39

* Do you were having a picnic?*

Example in the 'likely to be reasonable' column, Stopping to rest or to eat lunch while on a long walk.

The OPs family was on a long walk for little kids.

I assume anyone commenting on the thread will have read the recent police guidelines (even if all police officers haven't yet)

sauvignonblancplz Mon 20-Apr-20 22:32:51

It is all dependant - how if you’re going out for an hour do you need to stop for sustenance? Go for a walk and come home .
However if you don’t have a garden I understand sitting for a while during your hours exercise to enjoy some greenery- if you have a garden you’re being completely unreasonable .

RufustheLanglovingreindeer Mon 20-Apr-20 22:35:06 all

sauvignonblancplz Mon 20-Apr-20 22:35:58

@ErrolTheDragon Yes I understand that 100% but I need more details.
Would the OP have gone for long walks that required a rest and some lunch normally?
Does she live in a high rise area lacking in green space that means she no doubt needs the space .
Or alternatively does she have a perfectly good garden that actually she could make use of? It’s all relative.

Janleverton Mon 20-Apr-20 22:36:18

Exercise isn’t limited to 1 hour.

Smellbellina Mon 20-Apr-20 22:36:50

I think given the age of your DC it probably did look like a family picnic in the park as opposed to stopping for a snack mid lengthy exercise

user1471453601 Mon 20-Apr-20 22:38:00

My Daughter and her partner were stopped by police on the way to their allotment. They described the encounter as very civilised. Police asked where they were going, asked if the allotment belonged to them etc. Then sent them in their way.

Neither of them are inclined to be benevolent to police ( live in South Yorkshire, all of us LFC supporters), so some police are behaving responsibly.

Sorry you met the other kind

ErrolTheDragon Mon 20-Apr-20 22:41:23

* but I need more details.*

You really don't. The OP doesn't have to justify herself to you.

What the OP describes is within the reasonable behaviour guidelines. What people do with small kids changes over time, and giving the four year olds a longer outing once in a while sounds like a jolly good, thoroughly healthy idea.

RufustheLanglovingreindeer Mon 20-Apr-20 22:42:16

Its not all relative at all sauvignon

According to the police guidelines you can have a snack on a long walk...

You can go on a long walk...

None of the guidelines say that you can only go out if you dont have a garden and if you can prove you went on long walks pre covid 19

RufustheLanglovingreindeer Mon 20-Apr-20 22:43:09

I was so long typing that!

ItsLateHumpty Mon 20-Apr-20 22:44:46

during your hours exercise

We’re not yet living by max security prison rules - locked-down 23 hours with only 1 hour yard exercise.

Scruffyoak Mon 20-Apr-20 22:45:33

It isnt unreasonable for kids to need a small sit down before heading back!

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