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Balaclava bancop is masking for trouble.

Byline: HEATHER RAMSAY

A CRAZY cop has banned balaclavas from a freezing seaside town.

The fashion police chief fears the masks will terrify locals into thinking bank robbers have set their sights on sleepy Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.

Yesterday, PC David McLean pounced on one schoolboy who dared to go out - in -2C temperatures - wearing the offending headgear.

He gave the 14-year-old a dressing down before driving him home to tell his stunned parents that he was taking the balaclava.

PC McLean later warned that anyone wearing a balaclava on his patch was committing a breach of the peace - punishable by the courts.

PC McLean said later: "For some, the sight of someone wearing this kind of mask could have made them believe he was intent on some criminal act.

"The location and circumstances in which he was found, given that it was a poorly-lit area, may have been misconstrued by a member of the public.

"You can imagine what an elderly person might think if they see someone wearing one of these things. If an elderly woman was coming out of the post office with her pension book in hand and saw someone wearing a balaclava coming towards her she would be terrified.

"To put someone in that sort of fear and alarm is a breach of the peace."

Cops have now declared an amnesty on balaclavas and want owners to hand them in at the local police station.

Last night one local publican said: "Some times it gets so cold here a balaclava is piece of essential clothing.

"I don't think many people will hand in their hats."

CAPTION(S):

HAT: PC McLean and a villain
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 27, 2002
Words:276
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