Police probe kidnap threat to councillors

The kidnap letter that was intercepted by police before it reached recipients
The kidnap letter that was intercepted by police before it reached recipients

A kidnap threat against two city councillors caused a police panic just before Christmas Day, the Citizen can reveal.

Letters were sent to councillors Brian White and Sam Crooks with the words ‘please read or you may be kidnapped’ scrawled in red on the envelopes.

Both letters were intercepted by Royal Mail at the sorting office and police were summoned urgently.

“The first I knew of it was when a police officer turned up on my doorstep telling me I was the subject of a kidnap threat,” said Labour’s Brian White, who is a former city MP.

“In all the years I’ve been in politics, nobody’s ever threatened to kidnap me before. It was quite a shock.”

But when police showed Brian the offending envelope, he recognised the handwriting as that of a regular correspondent.

“I knew this man was not a danger at all. His kidnap threat stemmed from silliness rather than maliciousness. It was a prank that went wrong.”

Lib Dem Sam Crooks also recognised the writing and reacted the same way.

Both requested that police take no action against the perpetrator.

Said Mr Crooks: “Everybody has a right to contact their councillor. In this case, I think the kidnap threat stemmed from frustration.”

Both councillors have praised the post office and police for acting so promptly.

The Citizen spoke to the man who wrote the letter – who was mortified that his words prompted such a pandemonium.

His letters were requesting a independent investigation into alleged “corrupt practices” at the council.

“Often councillors don’t listen to me. I put the kidnap thing as a joke and it was stupid of me. I apologise,” he said.