A grandmother who knits toy animals has been told that one of her creations was a ‘potentially racist offensive object’.
Mrs Feast, 70, who lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire, was told by two police officers that ‘Cilla the Gorilla’, a toy she had knitted herself and hung in the window, needed to come down.
‘Two police officers, a man and a woman, knocked on the door at about 7.30pm’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘They told me they needed to speak to me about the ‘black body’ hanging in my window.
‘I said “Pardon? Do you mean the baby gorilla?” to which they replied “Ah, that’s what it is, is it?”.
’They said the gorilla had offended a passer-by and that I needed to take it down.
‘I told them there was no way I was taking it down and to be honest I basically closed the door in their face. I was so shocked.’
She added: ‘I wish I’d asked them what the person had found so offensive but I was too angry. I presume it was either the way she was hanging or the fact Cilla is black, both of which are, quite frankly, pathetic.
‘The police haven’t been back since and everyone I’ve told can’t believe it.
‘I can’t believe someone would be so sad as to take offence to a woollen toy, let alone reporting it to police. I’m sure the police have more important things to worry about.’
The keen knitter pointed out that gorillas were black and thus a knitted representation of the animal should be the same colour. “I couldn’t make a white one” said said.
But it turns out that the ‘complaint’ was fictional in the first place.
A spokesman for Cambridge Police said: ‘The police did not receive any calls from members of the public about this.
‘Instead, while out on patrol two PCSOs saw an object hanging from a window which they thought might be seen as a potentially racially offensive object.
‘The officers were unsure as to what the object was so knocked on the door of the home and asked the woman what it was. After establishing that the object was, in fact, a handmade knitted gorilla and nothing offensive the officers left and carried on their patrols.‘At no point was the woman asked to remove the gorilla from her window.’
Mrs Feast responded to the ridiculous request by putting a note in her window.
‘Are you the person/persons that made a complaint to police about the knitted toy?‘Well why don’t you knock on our door and tell us face-to-face what your concerns were about this toy? These toys usually bring a smile to most people’s faces – especially kiddies.‘I am so looking forward to seeing your face but it’s not going to happen is it?’
The retired couple have been displaying knitted animals in their sitting room window for about two years and never once received a negative comment about them.