Chief Inspector Ian Wheeler
CX - Charing Cross Police Station
Chief Inspector Ian Wheeler:
Thank you for your letter dated October 30th and post marked October 31. I note my daughter Miss Maranda Cameron’s notification form was completed and hand delivered on October 18th, 2007 at the same time, on the same day, to Charing Cross Station, as myself and my friend, Carolyn Emmerson. I am informed that Carolyn received her letter of authorisation some time last week and I recieved mine in today’s post, dated October 24th, 2007 and post marked November 2nd, 2007.
I assume you or Detective Superintendent Peter Newman will also be writing a letter to my daughter, at either of your earliest convenience, as she is most excited to be receiving mail through the post and has been expecting a letter such as the one I received from yourself today. Her SOCPA experience will prove to be a most interesting lesson in civics and the role of an up-and-coming citizen of England, participating in a democracy, as she experiences it – from the perspective of an eight year old child.
Maranda has handed in a completed form as per the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act legislation states the required information to be given and the Metropolitan Police Force suggests; we are both waiting for an answer.
I understand from Metropolitan Police Form 3175A and SOCPA that the Commissioner may impose conditions on her rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. As I have received this letter from yourself, I am compelled to issue a response on behalf of my daughter, as her mother and the person who truly has her best welfare at heart.
I understand the SOCPA legislation states that conditions may be imposed if the Commissioner perceives or believes or assumes that the following must be prevented:
a) Hindrance to any person wishing to enter or leave the Palace of Westminster. Sir, I can assure you as can the Head of the Metropolitan Parliamentary Police Force, that I have never, in the past two years of being watching from various angles, from various CCTV cameras and dealt with by numerous police officers, ever obstructed the Queen’s Highway nor moved with the public, out of the way of any incoming or outgoing vehicles of Parliament nor as a responsible parent would I place my daughter in such a ridiculous situation. It would be foolish to play hopscotch in the middle of any road or entranceway where one is expected to be moved on. I also have absolutely no desire to be mowed down by any manner of vehicle as I am a mother of three beautiful children and neither would I knowingly place my child in the way of an oncoming vehicle.
b) Hindrance to the proper operation of Parliament. I cannot see how children playing nicely could halt the proper operation of Parliament. Parliament could learn a thing or two from the children, I would dare to say.
c) Serious Public Disorder. Are children playing nicely or learning creating serious public disorder?
d) Serious damage to property. I can assure you that children playing nicely will do nothing but inspire the smiles on the face of London and will cause no destruction of property.
e) Disruption to life on the community. I believe that art only adds to the life of the community which is why children are generally encouraged to play with each other nicely – a lesson Maranda believes the adults could do with learning.
f) A security risk in any part of the designated area. Are children ever a security risk in any shape or form? Is being a child now a potential crime?
g) Risk to safety to members of the public. Once again? Is it risky for the public to be exposed to children in the community, in public? Is it not pleasant to stroll through an area where children are busy painting, or drawing or skipping and playing?
I have read the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act and do not accept that the Act allows for ageism - discrimination based upon age.
My daughter’s form was filled out with the help of Mr. Chris Coverdale and she gave great thought to the answers she gave. Her questions were answered in the same fashion as myself and Carolyn Emmerson. I see no reason why myself and my child should have to attend a meeting so as she may be interrogated by yourself so as you may “ascertain your (and Maranda’s) intentions and understanding of this application”.
I kindly decline your offer of a meeting and would appreciate yourself or another officer from the ‘events’ division of Charing Cross Police Station to post a letter of authorisation to my daughter, at your earliest convenience, with or without conditions as the Commissioner may see fit to impose on a child and/or children.
I look forward to hearing your response at your earliest convenience.
Mrs. Charity Sweet