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Pensioner's walking stick seized as 'offensive weapon' at protest

Police on duty at the Kingsnorth power station protest
Police on duty at the Kingsnorth power station protest

Police have apologised to a 78-year-old man whose walking stick was seized as "an offensive weapon" during the Camp Climate protest in August.

Former classics teacher Philip Clarkson Webb was shocked when police at the Kingsnorth power station protest told him he had to hand over the stick.

Mr Clarkson Webb, who did not go to Kingsnorth to protest but to attend a seminar, handed over the stick without a fuss.

Officers gave him a receipt and promised him he could collect the stick from his local police station after the protest.

But when Mr Clarkson Webb handed over the receipt at his home police station in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells, officers were unable to return the stick.

After a series of calls to Kent Police, Mr Clarkson Webb was told his stick had been lost.

Assistant chief constable Allyn Thomas said: “We are sorry we have not been able to return Mr Clarkson Webb’s stick that he uses on walking trips and we have apologised to him directly.

“We have spoken to Mr Clarkson Webb on several occasions and our officers are looking to resolve the situation to his satisfaction as quickly as possible.

“During the Climate Camp there was a considerable amount of activity and our officers and others from around the country who supported Kent Police had to make swift decisions as part of policing the protestors.

“Any complaints that are made will be looked into thoroughly.”

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