Police Call Pools Panel To Investigate Chalgrove Boy Who Broke Greenhouse With Football
TOM Clarke, 15, did not kick a football through a greenhouse window, while playing footy in the back garden of the Crown pub in Chalgrove, Oxfordshire. His dad tells Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 that someone else kicked the ball that “bobbled” on Tom’s foot. It was a deflection. And we have yet to ascertain who owns the ball and if they got it back.
But the biggest own goal was scored by the police, who on hearing of the smashing glass – the greenhouse’s owner, Bobby Cellar, 67, called them – directed a helicopter to catch the young rascals.
The story is brilliantly told in the Daily Mail.
It says the police force “scrambled” the chopper. The didn’t. It was already in the air. They paint young Tom as an innocent “lad“. He is pictured stood holding a football and looking sad. Says the Mail:
He kicked the ball and – like countless schoolboys before him – watched in horror as it looped over a garden fence and smashed through a pane of glass in the greenhouse.
Unsure what to do next, he went into the pub, unaware of the dramatic chain of events about to unfold.
Under normal circumstances the Mail would admonish the teen who, rather than racing next door to confess all to the poor pensioner, went to the pub. But the police are such monumental tosspots that they present an easier target than the said greenhouse or even a teen in a boozer.
And the Mail does depsie youth. Get these examples of the paper’s usual monstering of the young:
A crimewave blamed on Labour’s ‘decade of juvenile delinquency’ has seen a huge increase in youth robbery and violence.
The number of offences committed by youngsters aged ten to 17 in the last year was 277,986 – more than one every two minutes.
And if teens can’t be singled out in the UK, then the paper looks further afield:
Police are being told to brace themselves for a summer of street violence as a record-low one in four U.S. teenagers will land a job.
But what are the facts? The Oxford Mail reported the greenhouse news two days ago:
Police spokesman Rebecca Webber said: “At the time, the force helicopter was flying over Chalgrove, returning from an incident in Stokenchurch.
“On this occasion, the crime had just occurred, therefore two officers were sent to deal with it. Thames Valley Police would not deploy the force helicopter for low level crimes such as criminal damage.
“However if the helicopter is already airborne and in the area they may be asked to assist by officers on the ground, as happened in this case.”
“The youth involved has apologised to the owner of the greenhouse and will pay for the damage.”
Well, quite so. The police story has been put to bed. But one thing still nags: should young Tom pay the full bill when it was a deflection? Was he too unskilled or was the pass no good or too good? If the Force and Pools Panel would like to investigate, we’d appreciate it…