SIR – On Sunday 7th June, my friend and I cycled to Cadman’s Pool in the New Forest. It was a sunny lunchtime and although moderately busy, everyone was relaxed and peaceful.
Near us, on the gravel close to the edge of the pool, was a motorcyclist quietly brewing a small pot of coffee on a tiny gas stove, minding his own business.
Out of the blue, he was approached by two men dressed in black uniforms wearing peaked caps, and another in a green jacket and flat cap. The three men strutted around him barking out orders like something from the Stasi.
Apparently, he was “breaking the law as he hadn’t got a number plate on the front of his bike”, and they were going to have to report him. They photographed him and his machine, and ordered him to clear off after demanding if he was “local”.
We asked the men what constabulary they were from, to which they replied: “Fire brigade and Forestry Commission”.
I was appalled by their behaviour. If the motorcyclist had been parked in the wrong place, or was not meant to be brewing a hot drink, then they could have spoken gently to him, explaining the dangers of fires etc.
Instead, they ruined the peace by behaving like little Hitlers and upset a member of the public that was doing no harm. This is not the way to treat people, especially when many find it hard to get out of their flats and houses during the pandemic.
A little more consideration costs nothing and can make all the difference.