Nicky Wishart

Nicky Wishart

A 12 year old boy has become the latest victim of anti-terrorism legislation after he publicised his plans to protest against the closure of a local youth centre.

Nicky Wishart who lives in David Cameron’s constituency took to Facebook to organise a peaceful demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s constituency office.

As a result, anti-terror police dragged him from his classroom, threatened him with arrest and said that he would be held personally responsible if any “trouble” broke out as a result of the meeting.

He told the Mirror: “I couldn’t believe it. The policeman asked me lots of questions about why we were having a protest and who would be there.

“I said it was simply because we didn’t want our youth centre to close – it’s a fantastic place to go and there isn’t much else for us to do round here.”

The full-scale security operation swung into effect days after Nicky made an innocent request on Facebook to “save our youth centre”.


In response, the police informed Nicky that they were now monitoring his Facebook posts, for any evidence of ‘crime’ that may or may not occur.

Nicky added: “All this is because Mr Cameron is our local MP and it’s a bit embarrassing for him. I was taken out of class – and the policeman said, ‘Are you aware that the anti-terrorist squad are looking at your Facebook account?’ He said that if anything got out of hand, they would arrest people.

“Then he said that I could get arrested for organising it. I was frightened and wished my mum was with me.”

He spoke of how the police tried to scare him out of doing the protest and failed to inform his parents that he was being questioned.

While the Tories were in opposition, David Cameron often spoke passionately about the need to keep youth centres open. But thanks to the cuts that they are now implementing, Tory-run Oxfordshire County Council is getting rid of £4 million of funding for 20 clubs. Instead the council said that such clubs should be run by unpaid volunteers.

Nicky set up a Facebook group called Save All UK Youth Centres to stop his local club – which is popular amongst the local teenagers – from closing.

Despite police intimidation, the protest went ahead anyway. Around 16 kids were there, along with youth workers, and all were under the watchful eye of the anti-terror police who had turned up to spy on them.

Nicky’s mother Virginia, 41, said she was shocked at the way her son was treated.

In the same newspaper interview she said: “I said it was OK for police to speak to him, but assumed I’d be there and I was appalled they interviewed him without me.

“Nicky has done nothing wrong. He’s been brought up to be respectful and I support what he’s doing.”

A spokesman for Thames Valley police said that the aim was not to prevent the protest from taking place but simply to look out for “the safety” of Nicky and his community-spirited friends.

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