Couple told off by police for posting children’s photo

Pete and Jan Westlake owners of Westskates skate park in the Britland Estate who were burgled and have CCTV evidence of the offenders. They posted copies of the images on the premises and the police are now threatening them with prosecution if they don't remove them. September 4th 2013 E36085P
Pete and Jan Westlake owners of Westskates skate park in the Britland Estate who were burgled and have CCTV evidence of the offenders. They posted copies of the images on the premises and the police are now threatening them with prosecution if they don't remove them. September 4th 2013 E36085P

The furious owner of an Eastbourne business which was burgled says she will be cautioned if she refuses to move a photo of the two teenagers she says committed the offence.

Jan Westlake was on holiday when she got a call to say Westskates based in the Britland Estate off Northbourne Road had been broken into.

The 61-year-old, who owns the business with her husband Pete, said her grandson’s £300 scooter was taken and £1,000 worth of damage caused to the property.

But despite capturing the culprits on CCTV during the incident on August 7 she said one will only possibly receive a caution.

In protest the angry grandmother has put up a poster of the two she claims were responsible on the private property, but has been told she will face a caution if she does not remove it. She said she is furious at the lack of punishment being handed out and will not take the poster down.

She added, “I’ve been told they can caution the boy or ask his parents to pay for the scooter but they can’t make them.

“If I opt for that and they say no, they then can’t give him a caution.

“I’m just annoyed, why should they get away with it?”

Mrs Westlake, who said a wall was smashed in the incident and a gate taken off its hinges, added if she claims for the damage to the skate park on the insurance then the premium will go up.

She told the Herald, “The police have come down and advised me to take down the picture of I will be taken to the police station and cautioned.

“They are saying it doesn’t matter what you do this is the outcome but I don’t think it’s right.

“I’m fuming, we paid £170,000 to open this place up and we’ve kept the place open for the kids.”

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said, “Two 14-year-old boys have been interviewed about the incident and a further meeting has been arranged with the victim to discuss the case on September 8.

“Two police officers visited the victim’s premises on September 4 and advised her that by putting up photos of the boys with accusatory words written on them that she maybe committing an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

“The officer did not say she was going to caution Mrs Westlake but was there to advise her.”