Police message to parents upsets the internet

A POLICE poster warning parents against telling their children they will be arrested if they misbehave has gone viral.

Durham Constabulary in the UK released the poster to spread the message that children should know they can seek help from police officers, rather than solely regarding them as law enforcers.


But as is the way with parenting tactics, the poster has divided opinion, with some arguing that children should be aware they will face repercussions if they do something wrong.

The poster released on Facebook by Durham's Constabulary shows a smiling police officer with his arms folded, beside the words: "Please don't tell you children that we will take them off to jail if they are bad.

"We want them to run to us if they are scared…NOT be scared of us."

A poster from the UK's Durham Constabulary
A poster from the UK's Durham Constabulary

Striking a chord with Facebook users, the poster has been shared over almost 59,000 times, and 'liked' by around 40,000 people.


However, some Facebook users expressed their doubts.

One commenter, Jeff Rowse, wrote:

"Telling them they will go to jail IF THEY ARE BAD is wrong how? Surely that is the major reason for having a police force?? And jails?"

Gary Buckingham mirrored Mr Rowse's view, and posted:

"It never done me any harm, knowing that if I was naughty or misbehaved that there could be consequences with the police and jail etc.

"I was also taught that the police helped those in need as long as you were good and law abiding.

"I think it's about educating kids properly![sic]."

Colin Henderson said: "I find this poster offensive and typical of the police. I will always teach my children to be extremely wary of the police. They are a necessary but not necessarily good."

Others agreed with the poster's message, with Paul Parry commenting:

"Surly you understand the message here? Telling a 3 year old that if he doesn't eat his dinner then the Police man will come and take him to jail isn't true and will only serve to instil fear into that child. The Police shouldn't be used to reinforce bad parenting[sic]."

Another user, Jane Roberson, wrote: "Always told as a child if you're lost or in trouble find a policeman."

A force spokesman told BBC News: "Children should be taught from an early age that if they feel like are in danger and they need help, they can approach an officer who will reassure them."


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