Shropshire Star comment: Victim of a police blunder

Darren Price must be admired for continuing to go about his business and holding his head high. He has been wrongly besmirched and accused of being something that he is not.

Darren Price
Darren Price

We can but imagine the trauma Mr Price has faced in recent times. Being labelled a paedophile is pretty much as low as it goes and to find out that an error by the police is responsible compounds an already-abhorrent situation.

Even though the police are seeking to make amends, it has taken considerable effort on the part of Mr Price to elicit an apology. And while there is no doubting the sincerity of Assistant Chief Constable Evans’ appeasement, Mr Price is of the view that the damage has already been done.

Some members of the community have been openly hostile towards Mr Price. And one can well understand the rancour that people might have were the accusations true. The allegations, however, are utterly incorrect.

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Mr Price has known all along that he has done nothing wrong. And so he will have been deeply troubled to have been on the receiving end of so much venom and nastiness.

The police, an organisation charged with keeping the peace, has been responsible for a break-down of precisely that.

We all know that people make mistakes. And yet such is the gravity of the harm done to Mr Price that he will almost certainly feel an apology is insufficient redress.

He has fallen in the estimation of right-thinking individuals in the town in which he lives and works and putting that right will be a huge challenge.

Mr Price will no doubt hope that the public apology from the police goes some way towards silencing the slurs. But he also knows some people will continue to view him with disdain. It is entirely unfair that he should suffer in such a way.

The error has led to the unacceptable homophobic abuse of Mr Price. The police must take strong and decisive action against those guilty of hate crimes or intimidation. They must also learn from this mistake and take all necessary steps to ensure there is no repeat.

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