Quirky News

  • 26 May 2011, 9:53

Helicopter called in to catch teenager

Police helicopter /PA

Police have been accused of overreacting after sending up a helicopter to hunt a teenager who kicked a football through a greenhouse window.

The 15-year-old smashed the pane of glass while playing with friends in the back garden of a pub in Chalgrove, near Oxford.

But within 30 minutes the helicopter had been sent from another job to "locate the youth" by two police officers attending the scene.

The incident was logged as criminal damage by police officers, who defended the use of the helicopter by claiming it was already in the area.

But staff and customers accused the police of a "gross overreaction", reports the Oxford Mail.

Pub manager Emma Arnold said she was "gobsmacked" when she saw the police helicopter.

She said: "It was a gross overreaction. It was a complete accident when the young lad miskicked the ball and it hit the greenhouse.

"I couldn't believe it when they sent two officers and the helicopter. Since when did a youngster accidentally kicking a ball into a greenhouse become criminal damage?"

Police spokesman Rebecca Webber said: "Thames Valley Police would not deploy the force helicopter for low level crimes such as criminal damage.

"However if the helicopter is already airborne and in the area they may be asked to assist by officers on the ground, as happened in this case."