As October comes to a close and November begins the people of Britain take to wearing their poppies to give thanks to those who have sacrificed their futures for our today. The very notion of wearing the poppy is a touching one as people from all walks of life and across the entire political spectrum show solidarity in their remembrance and appreciation.
Sadly, however this respect is not entirely universal. In the past few years there have been a worrying increase in theft and attacks on poppy sellers.
- In 2003 a 79 year old volunteer collecting in Buckinghamshire was attacked with a hammer.
- Just last year a 15-year old Army cadet was badly burned selling poppies in Manchester.
It’s difficult for right minded individuals to understand why these things happen but it is a fact of life that they do.
With that in mind I would like to ask that this year, as well as offering up a small donation, you take a moment to look around where the collection is taking place for any indication that someone may wish harm to the poppy seller or may want to steal the collection pot. If you suspect that this may be the case take the following action;
- Discretely warn the ticket seller (shouting at the ticket seller may encourage a thief to try his luck and snatch the pot).
- NEVER approach the person you suspect.
- If you see the pot snatched DO NOT attempt to recover it no matter how much you may want to. You would do better to try to record as many details as possible about the thief such as his description, where he/she was standing and where they went and give them to the police.
- If you witness a seller attacked try to raise the alarm as quickly as possible.
A calm approach is always the best. Nobody should be expected to do more than they can but together we can make it as difficult as possible for these thugs and in doing so make it all the safer for those selfless people who devote their time to a truly worthy cause.