Sergeant Colin Norden pointed the finger at the Women's Institute for picking wild fruit to make jam – but said there would be no prosecutions.
A police officer has described the Women’s Institute as Britain’s ‘biggest organised crime group’ because they pick wild fruit to sell at fetes.
Sergeant Colin Norden told a council committee meeting that anyone who makes a profit on selling berries is technically breaking the law.
But he reassured WI members by revealing police have no plans to start prosecuting fundraisers at the charity Sgt Norden said: “The WI are the biggest organised crime group."
“That would be quite a controversial thing to say but they pick wild berries with the intent to sell them at a fete."
“That’s a crime.”
Sgt Norden made his comments on Thursday while speaking to Cambridge City councillors about antisocial behaviour.
He used the WI’s fruit-picking activity as an example of a ‘crime’ that does not always lead to prosecutions.
Cambridgeshire Police confirmed the offence is classed as theft and falls under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Theft Act 1968.
This makes it illegal to uproot plants for commercial purposes without authorisation.
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