Surrey Police defend Smallfield nativity play interruption

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The actions of a police officer who interrupted a school nativity play to ask parents to move their cars have been defended by Surrey Police.

Tinsel and Tea Towels was staged by Redehall Preparatory School in Smallfield near Horley on Monday.

Fifteen minutes into the show, an officer went to the stage and asked parents to move cars from the entrance of a doctor's surgery car park.

The manner of parking needed immediate intervention, Surrey Police said.

The school has declined to comment.

One parent called Johnny, who declined to give his surname, said he and his wife both drove from work and had one car parked in the doctor's surgery car park and one just outside.

'Complaints received'

Start Quote

Interrupting a school nativity play is not a decision our officers would take lightly”

End Quote Insp Angie Smith

He said: "We left Jimmy there. He did his two lines. And unfortunately we missed them. He was absolutely devastated."

He added: "I understand where the police were coming from, but I think next time it could be done in a different way."

Residents in Smallfield told BBC Surrey parking was a problem in the area because of the quantity of cars, the number of 4x4s, the volume of traffic, and vehicles parked on both sides of the road forming a "chicane".

Surrey Police said the officer had received a number of complaints about vehicles parked near a surgery which required instant access.

Insp Angie Austin said: "Due to the increased amount of vehicles belonging to people attending an event at the nearby school, the officer had to take immediate action."

And she added: "Interrupting a school nativity play is not a decision our officers would take lightly but the manner of parking outside the school required immediate intervention."

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