Posted on September 19, 2008

Woman Arrested Over ‘Golly’ Doll

Dean Kirby and Rob Dawson, Manchester (England) Daily News, September 17, 2008

A MUM claims she was arrested and had her DNA and fingerprints taken by police because she had a ‘golly’ doll in the window of her home.

Amanda Schofield, 38, was quizzed by police on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order.

She claims the doll was put in the window by her young daughter, who found it in a bag of toys.

But police say she was arrested after a series of complaints of alleged racially-aggravated behaviour were made against her.

She was released without charge after being questioned.

Amanda, from Borrowdale Road, Heavily, Stockport, said she has been forced to sell the toy because of the incident.

Amanda said: “I feel like a criminal for something my daughter did. I just can’t believe that I got arrested for a petty thing like that.”

She added: “I know that some people don’t like the toys, which is why I took it off the window sill, but I don’t think they are offensive. It’s just a toy. My daughter is really upset that I had to sell it.”

Amanda claims she removed the toy from the window after noticing it while putting her daughter to bed, only to be visited by police later that evening and notified of the complaint from a neighbour. She says she received a phone call nine days later asking her to attend Cheadle Heath Police Station, where she was arrested. She has since been informed that no further action will be taken by police.

Gollies are highly collectable. Badges used by jam company James Robertson and Sons, which featured a character called Golly, can sell for more than £1,000.However, the figure has increasingly been seen as a racially offensive symbol and Robertson’s dropped Golly in 2001.Last year, a shop owner in Wrightington, near Wigan, faced prosecution and a £1,000 fine after a customer complained about the golly dolls and keyrings on sale. Police confiscated a doll and a keyring, but the complaint was not taken any further and the items were put back on sale.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “Police received a report that an item deemed to be offensive was placed in the window of a house on Borrowdale Road.

“It is believed that the incident was the latest in a number of previous incidents that the victim perceived to be race-related. A 38-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offence.

“The woman was released without charge.”