After locals mistakenly thought it was a corpse, police ordered a charity shop to take out a ‘distressing mannequin’ in a sleeping bag.

  • Amaze staff in Worcestershire created the sign outside of the charity shop
  • The idea was to bring attention to the suffering of rough sleepers in this area, according the organizers. 
  • However, locals claim that they mistook the body for a deceased corpse. Some called police.
  • Officers requested that the display not be displayed in a way that could cause distress to others.
  • Chris Lee of the Shop said that he doesn’t intend to remove the Mannequin. 

A charity shop owner refuses to remove an allegedly distressing mannequin outside of his shop, despite the fact that people reported it to police believing it was a corpse.

Amaze, a charity shop that supports homeless people, placed the dummy inside a Malvern sleeping bag to raise awareness about the problems faced by rough sleepers.

However, locals were quick to criticize the act.

Chris Lee, owner and cofounder of Amaze said that he was visited in the hospital by officers, who instructed him to “remove it”.

West Mercia Police stated that the mannequin could easily be mistaken as a body and requested the display be “adapted” so it would not cause distress to the public or unnecessary calls to police.

Staff at Amaze - a charity shop launched to support homeless people - placed a mannequin in a sleeping bag in Malvern, Worcestershire, to highlight the plight of rough sleepers in the area

Amaze, a charity shop that supports homeless people, placed a mannequin inside a Malvern sleeping bag to raise awareness about the problems faced by rough sleepers.

A red sleeping bag was used to place the mannequin next to gutters and a drain.

Nick Houghton from Malvern was a supporter of the campaign and helped to launch it last Saturday.

The owner and co-founder of Amaze, Chris Lee, said: ‘We did this to create awareness around homelessness.

The mannequin is sleeping in the street next to the sign.

‘On Tuesday, December 21, at approximately half past five, I received a call from a cop and was told to get rid of it.

They said that it was too distressing, but I replied by saying that homelessness is a very distressing situation.

The police officer said that the display was intended to inspire comment and spark a conversation. However, he thought it was too shocking and could have caused an accident.

“It’s our way to say please help homeless people if possible.

Amaze co-founder Chris Lee (left) and Mayor of Malvern, Cllr Nick Houghton (right) launching the campaign last Saturday

Chris Lee (left), Amaze cofounder, and Mayor of Malvern Cllr Nick Houghton (right), launched the campaign last Saturday

Mr Lee stated that he had no intention of moving the Mannequin despite the visit by police. He claimed it was’making people conscious and making people think.

He pointed out the support given by Houghton and said that he thought it was great. 

Lee said, “This was done to increase awareness. We were not asking for donations or money.”

“I called the mayor, and they said not to be concerned.

‘The overwhelming majority of replies have been very nice and kind. Some people even believed it was real, and they brought coffee and food.

“It is not the police that are unhappy about it.

“The saddest thing about this is the fact that many people are found huddled at the entrance seeking help.

“It’s a fact of life. There are many suffering people.”

West Mercia Police spokesmen said, “The officer discussed with the manager that the model looked lifelike. It could be mistaken for dead bodies due to its appearance. This was also the reason we received this feedback.

“This display was likely to cause some distress to members of the public as well as unnecessary police calls, therefore it was asked that they be altered so that neither one of those issues is created.”

Three years ago, Joby Sparrey, an unmarried rough sleeper was murdered in front of Amaze in a nearby clothing store. This happened on Christmas Day 2018, 2018.