Cafe tones down 'too ghoulish' Halloween display after police complaint

A cafe owner has been told by police to tone down his Halloween display which included representations of a dead body and a bloodied child.

Ian Payne created the display using mannequins and dolls at the Memory Lane Cafe in Leigh Park, Havant, Hampshire, in a bid to create some publicity for his business and the shopping precinct.

But after a member of the public complained, Mr Payne has altered the display, removing the baby.

Mr Payne said: "It was done as a Halloween display but it wasn't pumpkins, we did it with mannequins and dolls, we were trying to get a bit of publicity. It was not done to offend people, Madame Tussauds is just as bad.

"The police only ever had one report from the many thousands of people who walk past it each day."

A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said: "Hampshire Constabulary received a complaint on grounds of taste and decency in relation to a Halloween display at commercial premises on Greywell Road, Leigh Park, on October 25.

"Officers have spoken to the business owner to make them aware of concerns raised by the member of the public and the display has subsequently been altered."

The spokeswoman added that a police volunteer had been spoken to about the use of police property after police tape had been given to Mr Payne and used in the display although that had since been removed.