Here’s a tale for our times, but be warned there’s nothing heartwarming about it. Don’t worry, nobody died, but, if you’re sitting uncomfortably, I shall begin.
A friend visited Ferry Meadows last Wednesday during half term, with her two young sons and some other mums and their children.
It was a pleasant but unremarkable day in the life of Peterborians. But the day took an unpleasant, verging on the sinister, turn thanks to the thuggish behaviour of one unknown woman.
The group made their way back to their cars parked at the Castor entrance at about 2.45pm. If you are unfamiliar with this area it is on a steepish hill.
Four of the boys – three aged seven and a 10-year-old – were a little way ahead of the mums and younger children.
Suddenly, my friend noticed a female runner running at speed down the hill towards the boys.
With the sixth sense of a parent it immediately didn’t feel quite right.
What happened next was shocking and cowardly. The woman, still moving at pace, was on a collision course with the boys. She didn’t stop, slow down or alter her path. She ploughed into my friend’s son grabbing him by the back of his neck, and pushing him to the floor, swearing at the children and running on. Bizarrely, a few yards on she slowed down raising her hands like she was going to stop.
At this point there was a verbal exchange with my friend before this cowardly woman ran away.
I wasn’t there, and this is only one side of the story, but even if you were being charitable and, for example, suspect the boys ‘got under the woman’s feet’ wouldn’t you at least check the seven-year-old was okay?
She didn’t and he wasn’t. He had finger marks on his neck and a nasty gashed knee. Just as damaging was his later reaction to his mum when he told her he didn’t want to go to Ferry Meadows again.
His mum reported the incident to the police (I’m sure you know what’s coming). That’s right, there was nothing the police could do and they didn’t have the resources.
However, Nene Park said they’ll review their CCTV and have been very kind to the family.
But when are the politicians (who are after our vote today) and career police officers going to wake up and understand that we are all sick and tired of this constant low-level crime? They might call it anti-social behaviour, but it’s crime and it impacts all our lives on a daily basis.
It’s a long shot, but if you have any information that might persuade the police to investigate, the crime reference number is 35/37/284/19.