Loss of sense

I noted with despair the report of a family being arrested by a police armed response squad for playing with toy guns (your report, 11 August).

This has to be the clearest possible sign that we live in an increasingly fearful society that has lost all sense of proportion. The initial report apparently came from people who are so ready to be terrified that they can no longer separate fact from fiction.

The shocking display of armed force used by the police bore no element of rationality. Surely when the so-called "guns" were examined on site and found to be harmless, and the way in which the people were dressed was taken into account, it must have been clear this was no more than people making a home movie.

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Despite this, they were arrested and interviewed for hours before being freed.

Sadly, as long as the climate of fear continues to proliferate and is actively encouraged, there will continue to be examples of overreaction like this by the authorities. I am not sure what the answer is, but surely a measure of common sense must prevail.


Keith Street