Celebrities Publicly Embarrass Teenager

Missing teenager Serena Beakhurst was found yesterday. The details are not clear, but it increasingly looks as if she was one of 100,000 teenagers who, for reasons of their own, run away from home for a short period.

The Voice published a piece which contained the following allegation:

Serena’s community feel that there is a distinct lack of care and attention by police, and a solidly disproportionate level of policing given to this missing child than that we have seen in the past for others who do not hail from urban, mixed-race families

Perhaps it was a desire to remedy the supposed racism underpinning the police investigation that motivated a host of celebrities, including Matt Lucas, Rio Ferdinand, Simon Pegg, Stephen Fry and Sarah Brown, to “tweet” about her disappearance and urge the nation to search for her.

Having become a national story, Serena Beakhurst quickly reappeared. According to The Voice, “[d]etails surrounding Serena’s whereabouts during her disappearance are still sketchy”. In other words, she hasn’t told her mum:

“Questions are still unanswered for me” said Marlene “I have no idea where she was, with whom, or for how long – I just don’t know. She is very quiet at the moment. She has a lot to take in. I don’t think she knows the volume of what has gone on. I know she got quite upset when she saw the newspaper clippings and missing posters, but she hasn’t said much yet. It’s still early. I’m still trying to be very gentle with her.”

I bet she got upset.

I don’t blame Serena Beakhurst’s family for doing what they thought best in the circumstances. However, most of the 99,999 other short term runaways are found without exposure in the national news or being twittered about by the wife of the ex-PM and the star of Spaced.

Like most 14 year olds, I expect Serena Beakhurst thinks its is all very unfair to her. She’d be right, on this occasion.