‘I can’t believe it’: Police visit family home over ‘offensive’ Michael Jackson scarecrow

Matt Mathers
Stephen Sayner says 'the world has gone mad' after neighbours complained about a Michael Jackson scarecrow in his garden: SWNS

A couple who erected an “offensive” Michael Jackson scarecrow in their garden was visited by police after neighbours complained.

Stephen and Teresa Sayner, of Compass Road, Hull, said they put a figure of the pop star in their front garden as part of a community “scarecrow walk” aimed at lifting spirits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Days after the figure was installed, the Sayners were visited by Humberside Police officers who asked them to remove it following complaints from neighbours, they said.

The scarecrow was dressed in a bright red PVC suit, a dark curly wig and had a black face with large, bright red lips.

The couple said they were confused as to why the effigy might cause offence to some. “I can’t believe it, the world has gone mad,” Mr Sayner told Hull Live.

“What’s annoying is the police can find the time to knock on the door about a scarecrow and they’ve got all this crime going on. Have they got nothing better to do?”

Ms Sayner claimed the officer who visited her home explained that neighbours had raised concerns over the figure she and her husband had chosen to depict.

Ms Sayner said she offered to change the colour of the scarecrow’s face but officers asked that she take down the scarecrow anyway.

The scarecrow walk had been set up by local community group Ghost Estate Compass.

A Humberside Police spokesperson said: “We understand that, especially at this time, people are coming together and are wanting to bring light-hearted relief to their communities.

“On Saturday 23 May we did receive a complaint from a local resident who reported they had been offended by a scarecrow on display in a front garden on Compass Road in Hull.

“As with all reports of this nature we want to make sure we talk to everyone involved to look at a way to resolve any situation amicably.

“PCSOs discussed the concerns of the person reporting it to us with the householder displaying the scarecrow, who decided to remove it from their garden.

“There is no further involvement or action that will be taken by police.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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