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Children Arrested, DNA Tested for Playing in a Tree?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the children-shouldn't-need-to-be-scared-this-straight dept.

957

skelator2821 wrote in with another account of a police action gone way overboard. From the article: "To the 12-year-old friends planning to build themselves a den, the cherry tree seemed an inviting source of material. But the afternoon adventure turned into a frightening ordeal for Sam Cannon, Amy Higgins and Katy Smith after they climbed into the 20ft tree - then found themselves hauled into a police station and locked into cells for up to two hours." skelator2821's basic question in all of this: "What is this World coming to? Do you think they went to far?" Well? Do you?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FP (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829336)

and Yes

Re:FP (0, Offtopic)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829523)

Its funny. The most popular tag for this article is: Yes. Hmm.--the same thing that the parent wrote in his post.

While it isn't a brilliant post, how can it be both off-topic and the number one tag?

Only if.. (5, Funny)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829339)

They only went too far, if the tree was less than 20ft..

treehouse of love (5, Funny)

Polybius (743489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829340)

Where else is he gonna make out with 2 chicks when his Mom is home?

Thankfully, I live in the USA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829343)

We shoot our children down from the trees.

Welcome to the new police state. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829344)

That should teach you to mess with a tree.

If they'd only chopped down the tree instead.... (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829407)

they could have become President!

I guess the cops are worried that they might be terrorists any by climbing the tree they'll be at a higher altitude, making it easier to shoot down planefuls of peace-loving citizens.

Do I think they went to far? (4, Funny)

AEton (654737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829345)

I'm not sure. I, myself, have never been to far.

Re:Do I think they went to far? (0, Offtopic)

jpardey (569633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829368)

Me neither. Far's a long way. Sure, I could take a bus, but on the Greyhound site it said it would be about $200! Maybe that includes accomidation for the night or something. But why go to Far when the main tourist attraction is some stupid Saturday farmer's market? Count me out.

Re:Do I think they went to far? (1, Offtopic)

g1zmo (315166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829522)

It might be cheaper to fly directly into it [google.com]

Re:Do I think they went to far? (5, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829409)

Maybe the cops thought the song was,

  "Two young snipers in a tree,
    K-I-L-L-I-N-G..."

I mean, it's a common mistake.

Re:Do I think they went to far? (3, Insightful)

rjhubs (929158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829415)

I am wondering why askslashdot is being used to push agendas/post news stories, i know this isn't a new thing, but aren't there real questions to be answered? Why couldn't this story just be a normal news submission?

Re:Do I think they went to far? (3, Interesting)

mingot (665080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829429)

Because civil rights things like this get people more worked up and generate a helluva lot more page hits then "news for nerds". BUT, it also falls into the "stuff that matters" category. (just to show that I am not completely cynical, although it's hard not to be around here.

Re:Do I think they went to far? (1, Insightful)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829468)

Frankly, I'd appreciate if they put the scaremongering political activism in the politics section [slashdot.org] , so my preferences not to see such crap would be honored.

(Not that I support oppressive police action, but getting political news from Slashdot is like getting workout advice from McDonald's. [promotions.com] )

Re:Do I think they went to far? (2, Funny)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829510)

Agreed. If I wanted "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING!" scaremongering, I would read The Nation.

Re:Do I think they went to far? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829462)

For those who don't get the response, the question should have been: "Do you think they went too far?"

Should have been too far, but it probably wasn't (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829346)

That's a pretty good way to introduce the kids to the way this country works - complete strangers can cause you large amounts of suffering for the smallest mistakes. That's not how the country SHOULD work, of course, but it is.

The question is... (0)

Nicky G (859089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829347)

Did they lie about chopping down the cherry tree?

Start 'Em Young (5, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829349)

These children have nothing to hide. They should not be afraid of DNA tests, or being interviewed by police.

Besides, what if they got hurt falling out of that tree? The police are here to help.

The parents agree (0, Flamebait)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829377)

In the article, the parents only had things like "the police went too far" to say about their children being arrested. I probably would have been harder on the police department, but one has to wonder about the 12-year-old's responses to their experience (one of the boys was crying uncontrollably, and one of the girls went back to sleeping with her parents). These infant-willed "preteens" didn't belong in a 20 foot cherry tree.

Re:The parents agree (4, Funny)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829390)

You're right -- my first response to my 12 year old after they've been sprung is, "Suck it up mister, or else someone's going to make you their bitch if you're not a hardcase yet!"

Dammit, at their age I was carrying a gun and defending my land from railroad surveyers and rabid dogs.

Re:The parents agree (0, Offtopic)

kevlarman (983297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829423)

how was that modded insightful. (wait, i know, the first response to my comment will be 'you must be new here')

Re:The parents agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829443)

You must be new here....

Hey, I had to.

Re:The parents agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829403)

These infant-willed "preteens" didn't belong in a 20 foot cherry tree.

I tend to agree. I got nicked for shoplifting when I was just 13 and got to spend the whole day in a holding cell on account of my cunt of a stepfather not bothering to call my mother or father and let them know I was there and then ended up getting the living fuck beat out of me right in the car park of the police station when my real father did show. And then cried only a little after I threw up on account of a particularly particularly nasty punch to the stomach.

It's not like I was/am some sort of hardass, either.

Re:The parents agree (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829481)

I'm curious: did you ever shoplift again after that?

Re:The parents agree (5, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829420)

I have heard of a lot of teens and college kids, not to mention full adults, breaking down upon being arrested and thrown in jail. Especially when they don't understand what's going on. Being totally powerless will do that to you.

If you are worried about hyperbole in the article, I'm interested in the police claim that they kids were trying to strip ever branch from the cherry tree. Now, I haven't seen this important civic landmark (not entirely sarcastic: trees can be significant, although it didn't really sound like this one was, except from the police description), but your typical tree has a lot of branches, many of which a 12-year-old would be hard-pressed indeed to remove. Of course, we might speculate that the kids had saws and axes, but then we're stuck trying to explain why that wasn't mentioned by the police defending their actions. So that brings us back to the question: how likely was it to the police that the kids were trying to strip the tree and kill it? Did they really believe that? If so, should we trust their testimony and their judgement on this and other case?

Re:The parents agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829430)

If I was the parents id sue the police department for emotional damage. If I really had money id give enough money to the right politions to make sure the cops loose there jobs as well.

Re:The parents agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829436)

...one has to wonder about the 12-year-old's responses to their experience (one of the boys was crying uncontrollably, and one of the girls went back to sleeping with her parents). These infant-willed "preteens" didn't belong in a 20 foot cherry tree.

I wasn't aware that being rebellious and impervious to authority was a prerequisite for climbing a tree.

"Those kids today. Always whining about being locked in the closet and beaten by their drunken parents. What a bunch of wussies! When I was their age, I didn't whine about being beaten with a 2x4. I didn't cry about how it wasn't fair that Dad threw me out of a moving car because I wouldn't help him lynch some colored folk. Heck, that was a valuable learning experience. I learned to like burning crosses and wearing that white sheet on Sunday. Just like I learned to like it when Mom and Dad used me a like a condom. No sir, I didn't complain about my unfair treatment and I turned out just fine. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go feed some dogfood to the twelve year old girls I keep chained in the basement."
 

Re:Start 'Em Young (-1, Troll)

ajs (35943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829439)

This is no case of evil gubmint stomping on innocent kids. The kids damaged a public tree, and the cops gave them the full treatment to make an impression. There's nothing in particular out of the ordinary here. Cops have been doing the "well, I should book you, but I'll let you go this time" routine for centuries. Cope and move along. There really is nothing to see here.

Re:Start 'Em Young (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829519)

Thank you, Officer Obie. I'm sorry you were abused as a child, but that doesn't mean the rest of the kids should get dragged through the system just to break them like you were. For "damaging a public tree". Give me a break.

Re:Start 'Em Young (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829493)

Well if you have nothing to hide go submit to a DNA test for that post. If you don't then you're just spouting BS because you can't walk the walk.

That "Nothing to hide" crap doesn't fly unless that person walks in and volunteers
to have all their data fully documented by any enforcement agency that will take it.
Your local Police Department has a program for you to willingly submit personally identifiable information to their database. So do it or shut up.

A police state is specifically the logical extension of "Nothing to hide" because your rights to privacy have been superceeded by the requirements of the police to submit anything they ask for without just cause.

America used to stand for justice and justice is either all encompasing or a lie.
The small details always have to be worked out by the courts but the basic fundamental premise is that there must be "just cause" to do anything to a citizen that they might not like. Since this is a government of the people for the people it must protect the people as it's primary goal.

And all those out there who would say that we have to sacrifice some personal privacy or submit to government overstepping because of the threats in todays global climate of fear...

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

Ben Franklin: Founding Father

Re:speaking of starting 'em young... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829506)

I wonder how the /. population will react when the news breaks that Sam was actually attempting to induct poor little Amy and Katy into the "20 foot high club." :-)

I can hear the comments now: "Stone the bastard!!! I've never even gotten any at ground level, so why should a 12 yr old punk get two at 20 feet high???"

Ok ok. Just kidding. The real story is that Amy and Katy were trying to induct Sam. :P I kid. I kid. :)

what's so bad about that? (5, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829350)

I mean, if a police officer can't haul three twelve-year-olds to jail on spurious charges, take mugshots, and record DNA samples, how are we ever going to win the war on terror?

Re:what's so bad about that? (2, Interesting)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829372)

exactly, sounds like they are joining the white power groups and targeting the youth knowing they will be adults soon, sounds a bit like when i was in school in england, the police came in and we all got the chance to learn how the police do finger printing, so every kid had a one on one lesson and from that we were all in the system.

Kunts the lot of them

Re:what's so bad about that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829386)

For us it was child ID cards to help in abduction cases.

Re:what's so bad about that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829395)

how are we ever going to win the war on terror?

As somebody who owns a fruit tree next to the road which everybody helps themselves to without asking, I'm glad that this war on terror is being fought.

Brave New World (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829351)

The environmentalist/brave new world crowd has reached a paradox

This just in. . . (5, Insightful)

Who235 (959706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829353)

Cops are dicks.

They always have been and always will be. I can count on one hand the number of run-ins I've had with cops that have been anything other than shitty - and no, I'm not a criminal.

Of course they went too far, they often do.

The culture of deliberate, misleading, trumped-up fear we live in today isn't helping anything either.

Frankly, we need more stories like this so more people realize just what the hell is going on.

My limited experience has been surprisingly OK (4, Interesting)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829406)

Granted, my experience has been limited to a few traffic stops. Also, I'm white, on top of which I go to great lengths to be polite and act in a respectful way, even if I'm thinking "what the hell do you want from me?" I've found that projecting "I respect you" via my actions and demeanor usually improves my quality of life. Cops are in a position of authority, where they can antagonize you at will and usually get away with it if they don't get too bizarrely over the line.

Feeling as I do that this power relationship brings out the uglier sides of human nature, I'm always sure to let them be the alpha male (or female) so I don't trigger any "I must prove that I'm a badass" reactions. But I'm one of the people who see the implications of the Zimbardo prison experiment in everyday situations, probably to an extent where most people would be rolling their eyes and saying "you're really reaching now."

Anecdote (1)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829434)

FWIW, I've had several run-ins with cops and they've been mostly friendly. I ran a red light when I was 16. I've been pulled over for speeding twice on the interstates. I had a minor fender bender [unrelated to the other incidents]. I've summoned police and/or medical for people in several life-threatening situations. I've dealt with local police, city police, campus police, state police, and the county sheriff deputies in several situations in different states and I really have no complaints. They were respectful, fair, and helpful. Maybe it's just because I'm white though.

anyone else... (4, Interesting)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829354)

disturbed by the "anti-social behavoir" remarks? Or is it just me?

Re:anyone else... (5, Insightful)

fossa (212602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829389)

I think complaining to the police about children playing in a tree should be considered "anti-social"...

Re:anyone else... (1)

trixy_1086 (687653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829404)

How is the parent comment flamebait? Did the mod even rtfa? They explicitly state later in the article that the police target anti-social behavior, which I think any self-respecting nerd, geek, dweeb or dork would find bothersome.

FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829355)

I was the one who was supposed to get first post.

What ethnicity were the kids? (0, Flamebait)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829356)

Could they have been imprisoned for Climbing While Black? Sounds crazy, but so is the number of Afro-Carribeans pulled over in the USA for Driving While Black...

Re:What ethnicity were the kids? (1)

Seven Sided Snowflak (930879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829369)

RTFA. There's a picture RIGHT THERE.

Re:What ethnicity were the kids? (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829378)

TFA has their pictures. They're white. If they weren't, they's probably have been charged rather than reprimanded.

Re:What ethnicity were the kids? (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829508)

Charged hell! There's a fair possibility they could have been shot outright. Police are fucking dangerous, and often dangerously unbalanced. Yet, as a society we never seem to manage to reel them back in, no manner how many innocent people get gunned down in their own home (happened in my home town, the most recent excuse was "Oops, Wrong address for the drug bust (and he (the victim) was black anyway)." Not a single officer was so much as reprimanded, much less fired.), beaten (how many of these to do we hear about each year, much less the ones that get covered up), or otherwise assualted/harmed.

Elsewhere in the news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829388)

Read the article. The kids were white, and it wasn't in the USA.

Re:What ethnicity were the kids? (1)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829479)

Slashdot: nearly a million monkeys, but still no Hamlet.


Your sig seems strangely appropriate.

Re:What ethnicity were the kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829515)

Could they have been imprisoned for Climbing While Black?

Possibly. If so, their imprisonment must have had quite the blanching effect. Too bad Michael Jackson didn't think of this - he could've saved himself a lot of surgery.

Way too far (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829357)

12 year olds....DNA samples (and stored for X years) taken without parental or legal approval? Insane.

Is the law in Britain to take (and store) DNA samples when you are simply arrested? Convicted, yes, I can see....but just arrested? Insane.
(this does not even go into the complete foolishness of arresting them for what they actually did).

Re:Way too far (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829448)

Additionally, just as important: so you're arrested and they take a DNA sample (pretend that that's OK for a second or that there's a good reason to need DNA). They they don't charge you and the DNA is clearly not needed for the investigation. They keep the DNA on record? Seems to me that if you're found innocent or set free (and, again, there's no reason to keep it for further investigation, as in a rape case say), the police should be required to remove your entry in the database.

Re:Way too far (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829457)

the police should be required to remove your entry in the database.

Required or not...do they?

Re:Way too far (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829463)

That's another question to also ask, yeah. But in this case, it doesn't sound like they're even required to or planning to. (Not even overtly.)

too far (2, Funny)

silentace (992647) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829361)

seems they went too far but if you ask me cops have been going a bit to far for at least 5 years+ now.

Re:too far (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829373)

No, they've been 'going too far' for 50+ years now.

that's the only way... (4, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829442)

Going "too far" is the only way to expand what they can legitimately do. Many people will find what the cops did to be excessive, but they will want to give them the benefit of the doubt because of their job, so they'll defend the cops anyway. Then, what that person considers "acceptable" will adapt to what they've already defended, and the next time it happens, they won't have that initial feeling of uneasiness, and this level of police interference (or whatever you want to call it) will effectively become "normal," meaning it will no longer be objectionable. The bar for what the cops have to do to qualify as "too much" will have raised, and the police by definition get a bit more power and leeway.

It's just like the people who said "if it turns out Iraq doesn't have a WMD program, then I will oppose the war," and when Iraq was found to lack a WMD program, they still supported the war, because once you're in, rationalizations and prevarications are too easy to muster to maintain consistency. You don't want to waffle, do you? On the other end of the spectrum, leftists didn't want to acknowledge the excesses of Stalinism, because they had chosen a side. Loyalty to any party or ideology is incompatible with integrity.

Anti-Social? (5, Insightful)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829363)

Superintendent Stuart Johnson, operations manager at Halesowen police station, said: 'I support the actions of my officers who responded to complaints from the public about "kids destroying" an ornamental cherry tree by stripping every branch from it, in an area where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour.

Since when was being anti-social a crime?

Re:Anti-Social? (2, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829374)

Since when was being anti-social a crime?

Since there were "restraining orders" in the US, and ASBO's in the UK.
"you were an asshat....don't do it again, or you WILL go to jail"

Re:Anti-Social? (3, Insightful)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829387)

...what?

Maybe we are thinking of different concepts... but "anti-social" to me means not agreeing with the concept of being social, which usually entails me sitting on my couch not speaking to another human being.

Re:Anti-Social? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829422)

but "anti-social" to me means not agreeing with the concept of being social, which usually entails me sitting on my couch not speaking to another human being.

Exactly. Which has been perveted in recent times to mean 'not going along with the flow'.

Re:Anti-Social? (1)

gullevek (174152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829489)

and not going with the flow means you are a terrorist!

Those were sure Al-Kaida terrorists. Lucky the cops could take them down, before they could turn that tree into a huge treehouse where a new Al-Kaida cell would have been created.

Re:Anti-Social? (1)

TheRealStyro (233246) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829438)

The UK legal system is probably referring to anti-social as antisocial personality disorder and actions that may present a borderline case. Check out the Wiki [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Anti-Social? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829478)

The term anti-social [m-w.com] is a little confusing. It can mean "averse to the society of others" or "hostile or harmful to organized society; especially : being or marked by behavior deviating sharply from the social norm".

Re:Anti-Social? (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829400)

Blockquoth the poster:

Since when was being anti-social a crime?

Since, at the least, the Sharks starting taking over the Jets' territory...

But just be cool, boy.

So in the UK (5, Interesting)

mingot (665080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829366)

So in the UK they put kids into the same holding areas as adults and can gather DNA from them without some sort of court order or parental consent? And the criminal records of children can actually be queried by schools?

Not flamebait, not an attack on the UK, but serious questions.

What is this World coming to? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829367)

"What is this World coming to? Do you think they went to far?"

No, I think they came from far and went to ridiculous.

At least some good comes of it (5, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829380)

Now at least these three kids and all of their friends will realize firsthand what sort of world they're coming into rather than having to wait until they're all grown up to figure it out like most people do (if they ever do). The people who start the action that fixes these sort of problems are often the same people who have suffered because of them.

...as long as they learn in the right context (3, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829485)

I just hope that their parents reinforce this in the right way. "Yes, dear, the police shouldn't have done that. Sometimes the people in charge do bad things." and not "Well, sorry, dear, I guess you need to be more careful out there. These are uncertain times, and it's best just to go with the flow."

Anti Social Behaviour? (3, Insightful)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829384)

Superintendent Stuart Johnson, operations manager at Halesowen police station, said: 'I support the actions of my officers who responded to complaints from the public about "kids destroying" an ornamental cherry tree by stripping every branch from it, in an area where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour.
Wait ... how is arresting 12-year-olds for playing in a tree NOT anti-social behaviour? It's a fucking tree. Sounds to me like the Superintendent and the arresting officers need to be put through a series of behavioural modification treatments by trained professionals (read: severe canings by trained Dominus'/Dominatrix').

Wrong kind of tree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829458)

No, it's a CHERRY tree. Cherry. Read the article, man. They say Cherry tree several times.

Anti-social behavior... (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829392)

Superintendent Stuart Johnson, operations manager at Halesowen police station, said: 'I support the actions of my officers who responded to complaints from the public about "kids destroying" an ornamental cherry tree by stripping every branch from it, in an area where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour.

Why is it the kids that are anti-social? Why not the old (in spirit, if not age) curmudgeon that reported them? I can understand the Superintendent standing behind acting on the report, but what was done was overkill. What happened to just running the kids to their parents? I can understand if this was on private property (still overkill, but at least there'd be better justification for trespassing/liability concerns).

Since this is a UK story, I could understand if it was a tea tree. I'll email a modified synopsis to an english friend and see if they pass out or call for the death penalty :P

Re:Anti-social behavior... (2, Insightful)

Quasicorps (897116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829465)

Let's look at it like this:

The children admitted to breaking public property by damaging the tree, planning to build a "tree den", and by damaging it, they broke the law, and the law states that law breakers should be arrested and dealt with. Technically, the police officers have done nothing wrong.

So until there is a complete overhaul of how we treat the law, we cannot complain about individual situations like this. It's obviously common sense that they were treated harshly and there was a total overreaction, but it isn't a legal overreaction. It's procedure. We need as a society to be able to adapt and interpret situations differently, especially in legal cases, where the law does not end up doing more harm than good. If the law has a negative effect, how can anyone respect it? Governments need to rethink this and apply a whole new subjective filter to how situations are dealt with, and officers should not fear punishment for not following procedure if it goes against common sense.

Re:Anti-social behavior... (1)

ketsugi (930099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829503)

Your English friend might call your bluff instead, since tea doesn't grow on trees.

Anti-social behaviour??? WTF? (4, Insightful)

ucsckevin (176383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829393)

So, seriously, can someone explain to me what the eff "Anti-social behaviour" in a legal context means? Sounds to me like I'd be arrested in heartbeat there! While this and other "zero-tolerance" policies seem so offensive to us, just think about what our grandchildren will say. They'll be so accustomed to this type of law enforcement it won't phase them at all. "What do you expect, grandpa, they were climbing a tree for godsake! Somebody had to do something!"

Re:Anti-social behaviour??? WTF? (2, Informative)

CaptainAvatar (113689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829450)

So, seriously, can someone explain to me what the eff "Anti-social behaviour" in a legal context means?

linky [wikipedia.org]

Law and Order (5, Funny)

theRhinoceros (201323) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829401)

In the criminal justice system, arboreal trespassing offenses are considered especially heinous. In the West Midlands, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Halesowen police. These are their stories.

Re:Law and Order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829451)

Those of you "Law and Order" fans, mod this bugger up - good stuff. :-)

Climbing Tree is a crime?? (2, Insightful)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829408)

[rant]I mean, call me crazy, but do cops have nothing else to do on this earth, except arresting innocent kids?? WTF they think they were doing?? Somebody needs to sit down and explain them how to perform their duties without creating too much nuisance with all the powers showered on them.

Sorry to rant, but I feel disgusted with law enforcement agencies lately.

Why the parents have to be under constant pressure, whether their kids will be in trouble for doing something innocent over the web, that might qualify as hacking, the websites they visit, the files they download, the files they share and so on.[/rant]

Are we losing humanity in cops?? Makes me sick of them. Sorry...

Re:Climbing Tree is a crime?? (4, Insightful)

StarTux (230379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829452)

You know there was once a time when the cop would simply walk a beat, in doing this he actually built a bond between him and those he was supposed to protect. Also he knew from doing this who was likely to be "good" or "bad" if something went down. Ever since they took to driving around in cars this bond has been broken and they now just respond to calls without the humanity behind it.

Just my opinion,

Matt

Re:Climbing Tree is a crime?? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829464)

Why the parents have to be under constant pressure, whether their kids will be in trouble for doing something innocent

You won't be in any trouble if you buy your kids a pizza with cheeseburgers and leave them in front of the TV for 24 hours per day. Every day. That's what the government recommends. Or else...

Damn kids! (1)

Scoutn (992649) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829410)

Superintendent Stuart Johnson, operations manager at Halesowen police station, said: 'I support the actions of my officers who responded to complaints from the public about "kids destroying" an ornamental cherry tree by stripping every branch from it, in an area where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour.

I don't know what is worse; that there was more than one complaint from the public that kids were being kids or that they stripped the poor tree of every branch. Not much of a tree house when all you have is a big stick in the ground eh?

Cherry tree stripping; the gateway crime to murder.

This makes me mad. (1)

MattS423 (987689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829411)

This makes me mad! Those police are going crazy these days. Why can't things be like they were when I was twelve? I'm so angry, I'm going to write a letter to those police and give them a peice of my mind! "Dear Aunt...

Mulitple Complaints to police? (5, Insightful)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829414)

How about if the fucking people who saw them climbing the tree talked to them instead of calling the fucking police?

Oh, no! Three twelve year olds having fun! I better call the fucking cops!

The people who called in are probably chatting with those kids' parents right now about how the police over-reacted.

Re:Mulitple Complaints to police? (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829472)

How about if the fucking people who saw them climbing the tree talked to them instead of calling the fucking police?

Because the parents of said kids will then instigate a suit against the 'fucking people' for harassing thier kids.

Calling the cops is one thing ("Hey...there's some kids screwing up this tree!").....what the cops (and the legal system) then do is quite another.

I BLAME TEH BUSH AND PATORIOT ACT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829418)

oh, wait...

CCTV (2, Funny)

Unknown_monkey (938642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829419)

I'm surprised that this valuable forest was not guarded by CCTV, then the police wouldn't have had to wait for neighbors to call them.
"Bob, forget screen 3, it's just a bank robbery. Look at screen 9, those kids! They're molesting nature! Call out the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment!"

Carp man, Brits need some real problems if forest molestation is a major police issue.

Unbelievable (5, Informative)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829425)

FTFA (bolded text was done by me):

Questioned by police, the scared friends admitted they had broken some loose branches because they had wanted to build a tree house, but said they did not realise what they had done was wrong.

Officers considered charging the children with criminal damage but eventually decided a reprimand - the equivalent of a caution for juveniles - was sufficient.

I can think of many [epa.gov] other [anarac.com] people [bikertony.com] to be arresting for criminal damage.

What the heck is this world coming to? Kids playing in a tree, break a few branches and get arrested (and DNA tested!? WTF?). Meanwhile, corporations are allowed to get away with this garbage. Yeah, there's nothing wrong with world ... civilized my ass.

Lucky kids (5, Insightful)

sedmonds (94908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829426)

This is the same country where police executed an unarmed and immobilized man for wearing a winter coat on the subway. These kids should count their blessings.

hey, why not? (2, Interesting)

jimfinity (849860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829428)

you can already get fined hundreds of dollars in my town if you're a kid (less than 18 years old) and out past midnight on a public sidewalk

heck, once i was pulled over under the guise of having out-of-date lisence plates, when in reality i was being pulled over because the police officer thought i had too many teenagers in my car and i looked suspicious.

the police officer actually asked everyone in my car for our IDs and looked each of us over before saying "you want to hear a funny joke? your plates aren't actually expired, i just thought they were when i started pulling you over and had to commit to the pull over"

yeah right, lady. real "funny joke"

Slashdot? (1)

ThePopeLayton (868042) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829432)

I know that slashdot is a site where you can keep up on current world affairs and such. But if the police hadn't done the DNA tests or had the title not had DNA in it would this article even be up?

Re:Slashdot? (3, Insightful)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829512)

This was my original thought as well, but then I thought a little deeper. When we say "NEWS FOR NERDS", we mean for the people who are nerds, not for "NERDS". As nerds tend to be the better informed, not only on "nerdy" issues, it seems that a vast majority of us are interested in the global climate, and our slowly decaying rights. As a individuals, we realize that change can not be left to take place on its own. By discussing this sort of thing in an open and broad community, such as that which we represent, we may come to the same understanding on a community level, which is what is NECESSARY to enact change.

There will come a time when a few of us stand up and begin to take action. When this time comes, it will not be the actions of those few that determine the outcome, but the actions of the whole community. Thereby, I encourage the continued exhibition of violations of our rights in not only this, but all public (and hopefully objective) forums.

Path of least resistance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829453)

Prosecuting criminals is hard; persecuting the innocent is easy.

Unamerican (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829477)

I cannot believe this could happen in the United States, the Land of the Free! Oh wait, the UK? Who cares.

They're just protecting us from the terrorists. (3, Informative)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829486)

Where I live, some kids were charged with "terroristic activities" [guampdn.com] after they used baking soda to create "bombs" out of plastic bottles. As a result, the school system is now mandating that students use clear plastic backpacks at all times next year. Sure, everybody will know when little Suzie's on the rag now, but we all know kids will treat such subjects with maturity, and it's all worth it if we can save even one plastic bottle.

Granted, such activity should not be tolerated in school, but when I was a kid we called them pranks, not terrorist plots.

GET DOWN FROM THERE! (0, Offtopic)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829492)

YOU'LL BREAK YOUR NECK!!!

Anti-Social??? (1, Redundant)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829498)

'West Midlands Police deals robustly with anti-social behaviour. By targeting what may seem relatively low-level crime we aim to prevent it developing into more serious matters.'

First off, how is this "anti-social"? I'd say that unless you believe in tree feelings, this has nothing to do with any kind of society damaging behaviour.

I am sick of the idea of dealing harshly with small crimes (does this even constitute a crime?) to prevent big crimes. I don't have the statistics, but i'd be willing to bet that the police in this town didn't do much research that confirms that playing in trees as a child develops often into society destroying behaviour in adulthood.

I honestly thought that this could be some kind of joke... I'd laugh, if I wasn't worried that neighborhood kids are going to be getting jailed for playing. Get inside kids, and no video games either. It will be sesame street and brocolli, and noone gets hurt. Pathetic.

too far but not by much (1, Flamebait)

treedazzled (992651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829501)

It seems unanimous that the cops went "too far". Probably so. And, yes, I hate the cops too. In the United States, most cops seem to me to be louts with too much power and too little education.

Nobody has commented, though, on the seriousness of the kids' behaviour. Destruction of a tree on public land is true vandalism. A twenty foot tree may be twenty years old--and much harder to replace than man-made targets of vandalism, such as signs, cars, or windows. The parents of these children should have taught their children to respect trees as common property of incalculable value.

I live near public land in the United States and the behaviour of children using the land is appalling. I've seen acres of land ripped up by dirt bikes, seedling trees intentionally pulled up for no apparent reason except boredom, and, yes, branches broken for the purpose of making "forts." Most of the land used regularly by children is simply barren, except for those trees tall enough to withstand constant abuse. Those trees, too, will eventually die, and there will be no young trees to replace them.

Media hype vs reality? (0, Flamebait)

Ickus76 (992652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829516)

Depending on how much has been mediahyped vs the reality of what happened... Police say "destroy"... media says "a few lose branches"... Police says "ornamental".. media says "a tree in a public area" I think the only mistake the police mad was to actually put them in a cell. They should of definitely detained them and kept them for holding while their parents came to collect and discuss the problem. Did the police have a suitable facility (ie not a cell) to hold children in while waiting for the parents? In my opinion they should of been DNA sampled (if that is the standard procedure) and given the reprimands which they were. What if their DNA samples linked them to a series of known other criminal and anti-social acts? Then we would all be touting how wonderful the new technology is working, not that their persons have been invaded by DNA samples being recorded. What they did was a criminal act, destruction of public property. It was not an intentional breaking of the law. They should not of been charged for it as they are just children and the Police did not charge them. There is no mention by the media how the children behaved... this may of purposely left out by the media to pain the picture they wanted? If they were being openly offensive to the officers (anti-social behaviour) they may of got exactly what they deserved. For all we know the children could be known trouble makers who were spitting and abusing the officers, inversely they could be the sweet little angels which todays society produces (yes thats sarcasm). How fast do Cherry tree grows? I would assume a 20ft Cherry tree takes decades to grow? How badly did they damage something which may take 10?20?30 years to fix? The short of it... yes I think they went too far... but only for putting them in an actual jail cell.
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