An MPs report suggests that children in the UK don't trust the cops
The litmus test for deciding who is totally untrustworthy is often carried out by children. We've all seen it happen – you're at a family gathering and one relative always instigates an unprovoked fit of crying when he's near the kids. In all likelihood it's not the adult's fault, but it doesn't stop everybody thinking "what do the kids know that we don't? What can they sense?"
According to research conducted over a period of 18 months by MPs and peers it turns out that the children of the UK don't have a lot of faith in the police. The BBC reports that children and youths have a "profound lack of trust in the police bordering on fear".
Often this suspicion and resentment is caused by their first encounter with the police, an occasion that the report found was usually negative either as a victim or a suspect. The memories of these first encounters become ingrained in the children, who carry them into adulthood and pass them on to future generations. Some children reported feeling humiliated when near the police, unsure of their motives and do not believe that their role is to protect them. Experiences such as "stop and search" were reported to provoke feelings of frustration and anger.
The report suggested that each police station should have a separate area for children, a commanding officer on every force responsible for dealing with young people and recommended a review of police training to renew a focus on dealings with young people.
The report didn't mention that reasons for these rampant misgivings could be their long hats, fluorescent clothing and insistence on riding around the city on farmyard animals.
This incident in Dalston captured on film last month is an indication of why British kids might be slightly distrustful of the police.