An unidentified Wiltshire police officer working in Swindon threatened to arrest an 8 year old lad playing with a black and orange toy gun outside his own home.
He ludicrously attempted to justify this by claiming the toy was an ‘imitation firearm’. Presumably not a particularly convincing one, or surely the officer would have called in a firearms unit as back-up.
When the lad’s stepfather came out to see what the problem was the officer forced him to smash the toy, reducing the lad to tears.
Not content with this he returned later to bully the boy's six year old sister riding in a battery powered Barbie car on the pavement. No doubt to warn her it was an offence to drive on the pavement and threaten her with arrest.
There are usually two sides to every story but, this officer would appear, on the face of it , to be unfit to perform the office of constable. If only for being so inept at his role that he ended up in the situation he did - One must seriously question weather he is safe to allow out on his own.
This seems, at best, misguided, 'political correctness', taken to ridiculous lengths.
He appears to have behaved more like a petty tyrant, or a member of a foreign occupying force, than what we had traditionally come to expect of a British Police Officer. Just as well for his own good name his Force (or is that service these days? – Some ‘service’ he provided) is keeping his name under wraps for the moment.
Police powers are extensive and their proper exercise requires extensive training, common sense, maturity , objectivity and the ability to exercise discretion.
The toy gun, by the description, was extremely unlikely to be mistaken by anyone of normal intelligence or fortitude for a firearm, so can hardly have been honestly regarded as an 'imitation firearm' in the normal sense of the phrase.
Presumably it was offered on sale in a toyshop perfectly legally and purchased for the lad perfectly legally, so no one else saw it in that light.