A teenager who was doing all he could to make sure someone who had lost their phone got it back got arrested when he turned it in at the local police station in Southport.
Of course the fact that 18 year old birthday boy Paul Leicester ended up spending four hours in the cells means that his DNA was taken and will be held on the National DNA database. He had already called the owner and told the owner he would be dropping it off at the local police station so they could collected. He charge was "theft by finding".
Now there are a number of things regarding this charge, apart from the stealthy way to prop up the . First last time I checked Alex Salmond hadn't given Kenny MacAskill jurisdiction over Southport as theft by finding is a Scots law and not on the English statute book. Also Paul was had made an attempt to return the item to the owner, and was handing it to the police for their save keeping, which under Scots law is not actually "theft by finding".
The problem that arises from this is who is going to want to help the police now? What innocent person is going to walk voluntarily into a police station to hand in lost goods, help with their enquiries, or whatever? If there is a change that the police will not use logic in a case like this and arrest you on the spot, steal your DNA and place it on a national database where they want us all eventually, would you want to help.
As the victim of crime both professionally in retail and personally at home I have been in a police station, or had the police call out to me. But would I had in that stolen credit card for fear of being charged with theft by finding? Report a stolen item for possibly a charge of fraud to attempt theft (from the insurance company)? If the police want to act like we are in a police state they will get what they long for an unsupportive populace. But they more they do the less support they will get from the people and that is something the Government is also forgetting.
Not all young people are up to no good. Not all Asians are terrorists. Not everyone turning something over to the police nicked it. When will they learn?
Hat tip Helen Duffett via Mark Pack and his Eating Lentils doesn't make me a terrorist suspect Facebook group.