Asking small children to kick police officers is wrong

Last week we noted that swearing at police officers is not necessarily a criminal offence.  Days later it was reported that asking a small child to kick a police officer will be punished.

Mr Thomas Brown was detained on suspicion of theft.  Angered by the detention he told the girl "there's a policeman, go and kick him."  She did.  The severity of her attack is not reported but led Mr Brown to an appearance before Sheriff Michael Fletcher in Perth sheriff court.  Mr Brown was not charged with theft but his actions in telling the girl to kick the officer saw him convicted of – it is reported – inciting the child to commit a crime and fined £100. 

Mr Brown accepted that his behaviour was wrong telling reporters outside Perth sheriff court,

"The child was sitting in a car outside. She saw me being taken out and she went to go and get me.  It was a fair result today for telling the kid to kick them. I admit I shouldn't have done it."

Some may wonder if a child below the age of criminal responsibility can be incited to commit a crime – but we will leave that philosophical dilemma to those better qualified to comment.