Police give grandmother, 82, a warning after she enjoyed a cup of TEA with a neighbour in their shared garden during lockdown
- 82-year-old woman warned by police over socially distanced tea with neighbour
- Gloucester Police officers arrived to speak with her when she was tucked in bed
- She was reported for drinking tea outside with others in breach of restrictions
A pensioner was given a police warning after she had a socially distanced cup of tea with her neighbours in their communal garden.
Officers turned up at the 82-year-old’s sheltered housing complex home at 9.45pm to question her about the incident – after she’d settled into bed to watch television.
They told her she had been reported for drinking tea outside with her neighbours, in breach of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Yesterday, her daughter Lesley Magovern, 56, said that she had been disgusted by the police action.
A pensioner was given a police warning after she had a socially distanced cup of tea with her neighbours in their communal garden (stock image)
‘My mother heard a knock at the door and it was very late and she wondered really who it could be,’ she said.
‘My mother is quite deaf and she asked who it was and she thought the voice said “It’s me”. Then mother assumed it was in fact me and she then opened the door.
‘There were two officers stood there, a man and a woman with masks on and they asked if they could come in and speak to her.
‘They did not show her any identification so she just trusted the uniform and she was quite frightened. My mother has never been in trouble with the police in her life.’
Mrs Magovern – who has declined to name her mother to protect her from repercussions – said she had had a socially distanced cup of tea with three other residents from her complex in Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire, at 1.30pm on March 9. She added: ‘I cannot believe the police travelled from Gloucester to Charlton Kings so late for something so ridiculous.
‘When they were there, they told my mother if it were to happen again she would be fined.
‘Then they asked her to provide identification so she was rooting around trying to find some. Finally she ended up showing them an out-of-date driving licence as that is all she had.’
She added her mother did not deserve the warning from police and had been unreasonably disturbed late in the evening. ‘I made a complaint to the police station. As soon as my mum opened the door the worst things began racing through her mind.’ Mrs Magovern said. ‘I really do not understand why the police thought a few elderly folk drinking tea, socially distanced in a communal garden, is a priority.
Officers turned up at the 82-year-old’s sheltered housing complex home at 9.45pm to question her about the incident – after she’d settled into bed to watch television (stock image)
‘My son works for the London Met and even he could not believe what I was telling him.
‘We all have been left thinking, what a waste of police resources.’
The officers tasked with visiting Mrs Magovern’s mother were part of the force’s coronavirus response team.
A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: ‘An officer has spoken to the complainant and an explanation was provided in response to concerns raised. She was content with this and the matter has been resolved.
‘Police received a report of a potential Covid breach on Tuesday 9 March at 1.30pm suspecting that there was a gathering involving people from multiple households in a residential garden in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham.
‘Covid response officers attended later that day at around 9.45pm where some residents were spoken to and given words of advice around current restrictions.
‘Officers are deployed to incidents based on an assessment of the threat, risk and harm of the incident and in this case officers who are part of the Covid response team and are deployed across the county attended later that evening.’