My sympathies to Sal Miah, owner of the Raj Poot restaurant in Crowborough, who tried to do his bit as an honest citizen recently.
You no doubt are aware that politicians and some police are bemoaning the fact that citizens do not stand up for themselves more, when confronted with criminal activity.
These politicians and police argue that we have the right to use reasonable measures to protect ourselves and our property when confronted with criminal behaviour.
That is exactly what Mr Miah did when he caught two teenage yobs who broke into his storeroom.
He chased them into a park, and then brought them back to the restaurant while he waited for the police.
While he waited a group of the boys' friends gathered outside the restaurant, which was filled with 50 diners, and started swearing and kicking the door.
Mr Miah went outside to try and talk to them, and with one hand pushed a couple of them away from the door.
Can you guess what happened next loyal readers?
Yes, that's right, when the police arrived they arrested Mr Miah on allegations of assault.
The fact that there were 50 witnesses in the restaurant was ignored by the police, the police attached more credibility to the views of the yobs.
Mr Miah was taken to Uckfield police station where his DNA and fingerprints were taken, and he was held in the cells before being cautioned for assault.
Now, after some media "hoo hah", the police (trying to "curry favour") have apologised to Mr Miah.
His caution for common assault has been revoked. However, as to whether his DNA and fingerprints have been removed from the database is another matter.
Wealden District commander chief inspector Julia Pope said:
"Two incidents at the restaurant, the assault and burglary, were wrongly dealt with in isolation.
They have been reviewed and it is believed that the man arrested had used reasonable force at the time. I have personally apologised to Mr Miah.
It was right for us to investigate the incident but, given all the circumstances, it was incorrect to caution him as he had used reasonable force. I have revoked the caution that was given at the time."
For good measure Ch Insp Pope added that Sussex Police is "firmly on the side of victims of crime".
That's not how this looks from where I am sitting.
"Anyone can make a citizen's arrest. Mr Miah did just this and used force in order to protect his property and himself.
It was unfortunate that on this occasion there was misunderstanding and the burglary and the assault were dealt with in isolation.
As a result we did not provide him with the service we would have like to."
There is no way any sensible person would put themselves at risk, by making a citizen's arrest, from either the violence of the criminal or the boneheadedness of the police.
Politicians and police who call for greater citizen involvement should first take a look at the reality on the ground.
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