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'Police station tour is insulting'

INSULT: Aisha and Kenyetta Golding with their mum Sandra

A LETTER from a West Midlands police chief inviting two schoolgirl sisters to visit his station following a traumatic ordeal, where they were stopped by armed officers, has been branded an insult by their mother.

Aisha and Kenyetta Golding have both received invitations from Chief Superintendent Chris McKeogh to have a tour of his police station in Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham.

It follows an incident on August 25 when 15-year-old Aisha and her little sister aged nine, were stopped by armed officers near their home in Church Road, Aston, after they claimed Aisha’s description matched that of a gunman who had just robbed a nearby shop.

But their mother, Sandra Golding, who is demanding a full written apology, says the officers’ behaviour was unforgivable as they continued to interrogate the girls when they realised they were not the culprits.

She says both her daughters have been left traumatised, with their respect for the police replaced by fear.

“Aisha and Kenyetta have read their letters and both of them said to me ‘Mum, where does it say ‘I am sorry?’ Aisha said to me: ‘Why would I want to visit a police station?’ This is simply not good enough. It’s insulting and falls way short of a proper apology.

“All I am asking of the police is to apologise to my daughters. Both girls are bright enough to realise that they are simply being fobbed off by this.”

In his letter Chief Supt McKeogh writes: “I am genuinely sorry that you feel the way you do. I really work hard with my police officers to make the area that you live in safe, so you can go about your daily business without feeling scared.”

He goes on to explain why they stopped Aisha, adding: “As soon as the officer realised you were not the offender he was looking for, he decided just to take some details from you rather than search you.

“I understand how scared you may feel and still feel. However, I want you to know that you have done nothing wrong and I appreciate how co-operative you were with the officers at the time.

“Your mum has told me that you used to feel confident approaching a police officer. I do not want this incident to change that in any way.”

He goes on to say he hopes a visit to the station would help to regain the girls’ trust in the police.

Sandra added: “I understand what they are trying to do, but it would have been more appropriate for them to write first to me as the girls’ mother.”

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