Former Wisbech mayor’s advice: ‘the easiest way to convince a child he/she needs to stay indoors is for the police to taser them

PUBLISHED: 15:52 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 27 March 2020

Wisbech mayor making.. Jonathan farmer. 05/2008

Wisbech mayor making.. Jonathan farmer. 05/2008

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Former Wisbech mayor Jonathan Farmer has suggested police consider the use of tasers on children found out and about unnecessarily during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wisbech Standard editor John Elworthy with the Mayor of Wisbech, Cllr Jonathan Farmer. 03/2012Wisbech Standard editor John Elworthy with the Mayor of Wisbech, Cllr Jonathan Farmer. 03/2012

In a social media post to a Facebook forum with over 31,000 members, the ex-councillor said using a taser was “the easiest way to convince a child he/she needs to stay indoors”.

Mr Farmer, who is on the executive committee of NE Cambs Conservative Association, is no stranger to controversy.

Six years ago he was given a 21 month suspended sentence after being found guilty of the possession of a fire arm.

In his post to the March Free Cambridgeshire Discussion forum he wrote: “The easiest way to convince a child he/she needs to stay indoors is for the police to taser them. Discuss.”

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One respondent felt the idea was “effective, if admittedly a bit too extreme”.

Earlier in the week Fenland Police had posted to their Facebook page the message: “Covid-19 Patrols Do you know where your teenage son is?”

It followed reports on the night of March 24 when three males were seen “acting in a suspicious manner in King Street, Wisbech”.

Police reported that on seeing them all three males ran and “after a short foot chase and a game of hide and seek (which we won) two males were stopped and detained. Both males were searched under section 1 of PACE.”

The Policing Fenland Facebook page reported that “the teenage males informed us they had left their address and their parents did not know where they were. Both males were taken home.

“Parents, do you know where your children are?

Police added: “Please remember one thing #StayAtHome this is being done to protect the NHS and saves Lives #covid19.”

Mr Farmer was mayor of Wisbech from 2008-2009 and for many years was also a member of Fenland District Council.

Following his conviction, he was barred from standing for public office for five years.

He had denied the offence, claiming that a World War Two German Walther PPK pistol found in his home was kept as an antique.

He said the guilty verdict had not surprised him and he fully expected to be jailed.

“If you put a Conservative and a gun in front of a Cambridge jury, you pretty much know the outcome,” he said.


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