Police apologise to mum fined for taking daughter for a walk on the beach five miles from home

Walkers on the beach at Crosby, Merseyside
Credit: Liverpool Echo
Katy Teer hasn't been able to sleep since she was stopped by police and cautioned for taking her daughter to Crosby beach five miles from their home. (Reach/Liverpool Echo)

Police have apologised to a mum who was stopped by police and told she was being cautioned and fined under COVID rules for taking her daughter to the beach.

Katy Teer was taking her five-year-old daughter Darcy to the beach five miles from their home in January.

Footage taken by the BBC shows the moment the 34-year-old was approached by officers at Crosby Beach after driving there from her home in Walton, Liverpool and told she had broken lockdown rules.

The officer who approached her said: "Where have we come from today? I'm going to have to caution you, you're not under arrest don't worry about that but I do have to caution you."

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A short time later, the officer said to the camera crew: "She'd been in work today and just wanted to come out with her child. Which any other time is a lovely thing to do but unfortunately at this time now, we all have to work together don't we?"

Walking away from the camera, the officer was heard saying "I felt so cruel doing that."

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Teer, who now works in Asda after she lost her barbering business during the first coronavirus lockdown, said she had struggled to sleep since the incident and was embarrassed by the whole experience.

She told the Liverpool Echo: "The whole thing was awful, I was so embarrassed and I didn't think I was doing anything wrong.

"I've never been in trouble before but I felt like a criminal after this and I couldn't deal with anyone knowing.

"I haven't really been sleeping because I'm just waiting on the fine dropping through the door and it's caused me so much stress."

Teer said she had taken her daughter to the beach as a reward for working hard at home schooling.(Reach).
Teer said she had taken her daughter to the beach as a reward for working hard at home schooling.(Reach).

Merseyside Police has apologised and said the fine had been revoked.

Teer said: "It has been such an awful year with everything that has been going on. I lost my business, have worked in the supermarket every day to provide for my family, people are just trying to get by. And this was just so much stress on top of all that."

In a statement, the force said: "There have been conversations on social media about the issuing of a COVID-19 fixed penalty notice to a mother who had travelled with her daughter to Crosby beach on January 25, 2021.

"The officer who engaged with the woman, and who advised her that she would receive a ticket, reconsidered the issue when he returned to the police station to finalise the paperwork.

"On reflection, he decided not to proceed with it as he felt that the words of advice that had been given to this lady were sufficient.

"As such the lady will not have received a fine and we are contacting her to inform her that this is why she won't have received anything in the post."

The statement added: "We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to her for not having advised her of this sooner.

"Our officers are encouraged to use their discretion and on this occasion, when the officer reflect, he made the decision not to proceed with issuing a fixed penalty notice.

"She was advised on the evening about the legislation in relation to not making non essential journeys.

"For everyone, the pandemic brings its challenges and that is exactly the same for our officers out on the streets.

"Our focus is on those who are flagrantly breaching Covid legislation without any care or thought for the impact on the health of others, and that is what we will continue to do."

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