The drama followed an incident in which 20 schoolchildren entered the store and began shouting, pushing and fighting each other, before Mr Inthrajith marched them out.'The drama' being? Well, this little farce, courtesy of Essex police:
Police marksmen surrounded the News and Store shop, on the corner of Fairfax Drive and Ronald Park Avenue, in Westcliff, on Wednesday, after a call claiming the owner was armed.
With guns trained on him, shocked owner, Thilakasekaram Inthrajith, was ordered to put his hands on his head and come out of the shop with his terrified wife Sobikka, their 18-month old son Keeran, and his cousin, Vetivelu Sanjayan.
Mr Inthrajith, 32, told the Echo he didn’t find out what the police were doing at the shop until two hours after the incident started at 4pm.Still, I'm sure once they realised the truth, their faces were red, and the apologies were fulsome?
He said: “They treated us like terrorists. It was really scary when it happened.
“All of a sudden we saw police surrounding the shop with guns and then they started shouting at us to come out.
“We had no idea what was going on, but when we walked out, there were all these police, with guns pointed at us.
“Then, some of them went inside and started searching around, but no one would tell me what was going on, or why they were there.“
Cops closed the road for more than an hour while they mounted a painstaking search of the building, but found nothing.Now, I'm sure regular police readers are just about to pen long missives in the comments section to tell me how the police have to treat suspected firearms incidents seriously, and they can't assume that this is indeed a prank.
Well, save your typing fingers. I'm not complaining about that. What I am complaining about it the fact that when they have realised they were played like fiddles by a bunch of chavvy schoolkids to get revenge on another authority figure, they appear not to have realised the awful PR disaster they've been landed with, and fail to respond accordingly:
It is not the first time Mr Inthrajith has had to deal with troublesome youngsters. He said: “We have had ongoing problems with kids from the school in the past. They damage stock and have shoplifted, but the police don’t do anything.
“I am really fed up with it and don’t know what else to do.”Oh, I think you do, Mr Inthrajith! Next time, just tell Essex Police that they are armed! After all, what's the worst that can happen?
Police confirmed they did not find a firearm and said they gave the youngsters involved in the incident some “strong words of advice. ”Yes, clearly, these are the idiots that deserve the right to carry more weapons...
For Christ's sake, if they can't demonstrate a little understanding of the responsibility they've been granted by society, why should we be expected to care when they are under the hammer?