Police called out in boy's birthday cake candle health and safety row
POLICE were called to a three-year-old's party – after a health and safety dispute over lighting candles on the youngster's birthday cake.
Officers attended Rumble Tumble children's play centre, in Hanley, after a female worker claimed she was being intimidated by the family of toddler Oscar Barlow.
The dispute started after staff objected to the family wanting to light candles on the cake they had brought into the Broom Street centre.
It was claimed that the lighting of birthday candles had to be supervised by staff in a specific area of the centre for health and safety reasons.
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Following an argument, mum Natasha Bent and her family went into the car park to light the candles.
And they were stunned when the police arrived on the scene.
Natasha, aged 27, of St Michael's Road, Pitshill, said: "We've been to Rumble Tumble a few times, so we decided to go there for Oscar's birthday.
"We'd already been to Alton Towers, so it was just a last minute thing, we hadn't booked a birthday party.
"When we were there we brought in Oscar's birthday cake from the car, but just as we were going to light the candles they told us we couldn't.
"All we wanted to do was sing Happy Birthday and have Oscar blow out the candles. We just tried to reason with a staff member, but she said we were bullying her and told us to leave, saying she was going to call the police.
"In the end we went outside and lit the candles in the car park. Oscar and the other children started crying when the police turned up."
Staffordshire Police arrived within half-an-hour of the call just before 6pm on Thursday.
Natasha's partner David Meir, aged 32, said: "When the police officer told us the staff member had accused us of intimidating her, I just laughed. We weren't acting aggressively. I had my two sons with me so there's no way I'd do that in front of them."
Rumble Tumble refused to respond to The Sentinel's telephone inquiries.
A police spokesman said: "Officers established the dispute was over the level of service received and advice was given to all involved."