I mean, I can see your little hellion is a pretty husky lass for 10, but a flowery dress, and bow in her hair, and you standing on a box would help to say 'I'm just a poor wee lass who was scared when the big bad policeman put me in handcuffs', rather than a hardened little thugette who'd sneer at a fully-equipped CIA interrogation team armed with Black & Deckers.
Oh, it helps if you dress in your sunday best too. What's that? This is your...?
Oh, ok then.
Tip No 2: Don't give the reporter a statement that incriminates your little hellspawn.
Mr Blake said: 'Shannon had been playing in the BMX park when she went to stroke this man's dog.You see, Mr Blake, where you come from, it may seem perfectly natural that the response to someone shouting at you is physical violence.
'He shouted at her so she slapped him and gave him a push. My daughter has never been in trouble before. She's a bit of a tomboy but that's it.'
But...trust me on this one, ok, I'm here to help...where most people come from, it would be considered a totally unwarranted assault, and that's a crime. Yes, it'd be a crime if you did it too. It would be a little bit more expected from you, because frankly, you...
Well, let's not go into that. Suffice to say, it's not considered normal behaviour for a ten year old. Especially a girl.
Tip No 3: Don't whine about how unjustly you feel she was treated by the police when you've totally ignored Tips No 1 and 2.
Trust me, people aren't going to read this story and think 'Poor child!':
He said: 'It seems absolutely ridiculous, she was treated like a criminal. I never received any information about it until more than two hours later.Mr Blake, how can I put this...?
'They locked her in a cell with a bucket if she wanted to use the toilet.
'They took her shoes away and the strings of her trousers.
'They finger-printed her and took her photo and then gave her a sandwich and half a cup of cold tea.
'It's absolutely appalling they can treat a 10-year-old in that way - what they did was really heavy-handed.
'What are they doing putting cuffs on a young girl? They should have just brought her home to me and I would have dealt with it.'
OK, first off, she wasn't tasered or pepper sprayed (which maybe took a bit of restraint on the cops' part), she was treated as any other young girl who'd assaulted a stranger would be.
And secondly, I'm sure you can see that people aren't about to take your word that you'll 'deal with it' on account of the fact that you've raised a child who acts like she does in the first place.
You can see their point, surely? What's that? No, no, I absolutely wasn't calling you 'Shirley'..!
Tip No 4: Don't be economical with the truth.
Because if the police story seems to indicate that maybe your little angel isn't the aggrieved party you are making her out to be, they'll print that too.
And then won't you look stupid?
But police say they received a 999 call from a member of the public claiming that up to 20 youths were attacking a man who had been walking his dog.Ooops! Check the comments, Mr Blake. You haven't helped, have you?
Shannon was arrested with two boys aged 16 and 15 and taken to Heavitree Road Police Station in Exeter, Devon...'Handcuffing a 10-year-old is never done as a matter of routine. A decision was made by the officer at the scene, based on the girl's demeanour, likelihood of escape and likelihood of injuring someone else.
'The officer that made the decision considered it serious enough to use the handcuffs.
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