In 2009, of course, even doing something legal can get you stopped and threatened by police officers with no knowledge of the law and too much time on their hands:
However, Sam was stopped by the police while riding through Gravesend town centre on June 3.That’s, assuming only one officer in the police car, four police for one teenager harmlessly riding his mobility scooter?
He says two officers on foot, one on a bicycle and a police car swooped on him outside Debenhams as he rolled alongside his friends.
It’s only a wonder they didn’t call in an ARV and a helicopter…
“They threatened to arrest me for dangerous driving, add three points to my provisional driving licence, tow away the scooter and fine me £110”, he says.What..?!?
However, after a lengthy discussion the officers let Sam go with a warning and he drove home.
He said: “I was shocked by the police reaction because I was not doing anything wrong.So, Sam can expect an apology from the police for this attempt to intimidate a young man by threatening him with a non-crime, and some retraining for the police who don’t seem to know what the law is, or what their powers entitle them to do?
“I wasn’t driving dangerously, I was driving around people and stopping to let them pass, and the fastest I can go is walking pace.
“And there’s nothing illegal about me driving the scooter - I checked and its not against the law to drive one if you’re not disabled.”
He added: “The amount of police officers who came, it was as though they thought I was going to try to escape in it, even though it only does 4mph."
Chief Inspector Pete Ayling, of Kent police, says the officers response was “proportionate” because Sam was “thought to be acting in an anti-social manner” .So, when it became apparent that he wasn’t acting in an anti-social manner, was it still ‘appropriate’ for your officers to threaten him with something that wasn’t even an offence, and issue a warning about….well, what, exactly?
He added: “The number of officers involved is a consequence of the incident happening in a busy town centre.”
He is aware some people may think it is inappropriate for an able-bodied 17-year-old to ride a mobility scooter, but says: “I don’t think it’s offensive as I’m not hurting anyone, I’m just having fun.Obviously, that can’t be allowed…
Oh, and Mr Ayling? While those officers were harassing a young lad while trying desperately to find something to add to their targets, they weren’t patrolling your ‘busy town centre’, were they?