Oh man! Criminal act? I had to laugh!
What a wonderful day. Sunshine, cheerfulness. Time to walk out to make purchases. After shopping I did leave the mall. Arrived outside of the mall near the parking lot I did hear a familiar voice “Dennis! Look over here! This men said we can´t go home and he is calling the police!”. Some steps towards the parking lot, I noticed it´s my little cousin (Son of my uncle) with two of his friends. He is 10 years old and I guess his friends too.
I was shocked and asked the men who seemed to have a problem with the kids “What´s wrong here? I hope they did not steal anything in the mall?”. The men answered “I catched them while committing a crime!” and he said “They went through this bush behind the parking lot and that means criminal property damage!”. He also said that they can´t go home now as the police is underway.
I answered “This small bush here with the already existing beaten path? Oh men! So how can this be criminal property damage if there is already a beaten path in the bush?”. There are two school´s and looks like this trail through the bush is there because many people went through. I also said if it is known that kids like to go through here, would it not be better to place a fence there to prevent this instead of holding three caught in the act kids responsible for the over time resultant path through the bush?
I definitely could see his problem but I did not agree that three caught kids are responsible for the whole “damage” just because being the only ones who are caught. He now told me a lot of bullshit like “Nevermind what you think.. they are caught now and will be punished as the police is already underway”. I just thought what a little mind and said “Oh well let´s wait for the police but you probably will blame yourself”.
The police arrived and went out of the car to ask what kind of problem here is. When the men told them what he told me, I just noticed slightly smiling police faces and then they said “This is all? We thought it´s about stealing anything!”. But well you know police has to listen and take anyone serious. One clerk talked with him and one with me. The clerk told me they write that down but anyway there will nothing happen as the kids are 10 Years old and the police also though that these kind of trails on the grass or in a bush are just inviting to take the shorter way. They also came to the result that this is a public area and that they should place a fence so that people take the walkway 10 meters away. It´neither break-in or damage to property. And anyway make a few kids responsible for a damage which needs month and many people walking this way… there is no sence.
The formal stuff started like writing names down. But the police did note that this is just formal and one clerk softly told me that this is just paper which will rot in any big file cabinet. He smiled and said “I better don’t tell you my personal opinion. I am in service and have to be neutral”. For me now was clear that this was one of these funny missions which gave the police some rest from all the real crime they are used to each day.
The men who called the police was now somewhat pissed. But hey! Thinking about solutions can be much more difficult than calling the police! Even if the solution is so easy and called “fence”. What a brilliant invention. It´s about money? Well.. if he wont place a fence around this public bush, it will cost him more over time.
I agree that adults should take the walkway and don’t jump through any bush or trails in the bush. But expect that from a few 10 years old who love to explore the public area is simply a complete joke in my opinion. I would see it different if the kids have accessed any private property as this can be seen as brake-in. But that´s not the case. It´s all about an idealess groundskeeper who loves to play the town watch and who is afraid to ask his management for a fence. Sorry. Again… If he want´s to prevent people take the short way through the path in the bush.. he should take action. First he would need to ask the management for money and then they would need to plant new stuff there and then they should place a fence. They never did. People wouldn´t go though if this bush would look beautiful and if it would be in one piece. It´s not in one piece, it´s already damaged, it´s ugly and you can´t talk about malicious injury of property here. He never did anything there. For many it´s simply a sandy trail. Renew this area and placing a fence would work out better for them than calling the police which had more important stuff to do than discussing with a town watch.
The police also mentioned that it might be that there is not a difference between a sandy trail and a stone walkway. I bet this question would even drive the nuts of a lawyer. Maybe you will find the answer in any german legal code as we write down every rule for a potential case, lol (I am from germany and this all happened there). Ok…
Later I did bring my cousin to my uncle and told him the story and that nothing will happen. He had to laugh too and he looked like he would choke while laughing, really. Have you ever experienced a similar situation?