Grandmother, 70, told by police to remove ‘offensive’ knitted gorilla teddy from window

November 5, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

A grandmother says police asked her to move a toy baby gorilla called Cilla hanging in her window – because someone had found it ‘offensive’.

Anne Feast, 70, knitted the cuddly figure last year and it has been hanging by its arm in her front window ever since.

But she claims two police officers knocked on her door and started quizzing her about the ‘black body’ after saying they had received a complaint.

Anne Feast with a toy gorilla that she hangs in her living room window

Anne Feast with a toy gorilla that she hangs in her living room window

Anne and husband Philip, 71, say they don’t know exactly why the toy caused offence, but suspect it had been misinterpreted as being racist.

Cilla is hung in different positions each day and they wonders whether a passerby has been upset by an unusual pose.

The couple have so far refused to take Cilla down and they have written a note to the anonymous complainant which now sits in the window, along with the gorilla.

It says: “Are you the person/persons that made a complaint to the police about the knitted toy gorilla in our window.

“Well why didn’t you knock on our door and tell us face to face what your concerns were about this toy.

“These toys usually bring a smile to most people’s faces especially kiddies.

“I am so looking forward to seeing your face, but it is not going to happen is itjQuery15108687590905465186_1415188769601???”

Cambridgeshire police say they have no record of any complaint being made about the gorilla or of any police officers visiting the couple’s council-owned home in Ely.

But Anne, who has two grandchildren, insists she is telling the truth and said she was left stunned by the visit from a male and female officer around 7.30pm on September 17.

She said: “I opened the door and the woman said don’t be worried.

“I said I’m not, she said there’s a black body in your window and I said it’s not a black body it’s a baby gorilla.

“She got closer to the window and looked in and said ‘oh yes I can see that’.

“She said can you not put it in a different position and I said no, sometime he’s hanging out the window and sometimes he’s hanging by his arms.

“I said if you come back in a couple of days it will be in a different position.

“She just shrugged and I closed the door, I was just so shocked.”

She has heard nothing further from the police following the visit.

Anne added: “We’re disgusted by what’s happened to be honest. I didn’t think anyone could be so sad.

“I saw the pattern for Cilla last year so decided I wanted to knit her. She’s been hanging in the living room window for over a year.

“I change her position every couple of days – sometimes I hang her from her arms, sometimes by her legs and other times I even have her head peeping out the window.

“The kiddies who pass by the window love it and all the neighbours comment – we’ve only ever received positive comments about Cilla.”

She said: “I wish I’d asked them what the person had found offensive but I was too angry.

“I presume it was either the way she was hanging or the fact Cilla is black, both of which are quite frankly pathetic.

“The police haven’t been back since and everyone I’ve told can’t believe it.

“I can’t believe someone would be so sad as to take offence to a woollen toy, let alone reporting it to police and wasting officers’ time.

“I’m sure the police have more important things to worry about.”

She says the man was in his 30s, tall and had a round-looking face and the woman had a plump, round face and looked to be in her late 30s.

She added that she could not remember if they were regular officers or PCSOs and did not see any police vehicle.

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