A teenage army cadet was threatened by a man shouting anti-military abuse while selling poppies in Belper.
The cadet, who was helping to raise money for the Royal British Legion in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday, was the victim of a threatening remark - branded by police as “appallingly bad taste.”
The man is reported to have said to said to the boy, aged between 15 and 18: “If you carry on like that you’ll be shot by the Taliban.”
Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for RBL Belper, Les Harrison, said the verbal attack took place at around 11.20am on Saturday in King Street, when two men started shouting abuse.
Mr Harrison confirmed they then shouted: “You are going to get shot by the Taliban. They are going to kill you”.
This was heard by another cadet who was looking after the teenager, who Police have not named, who went over to the car to intervene.
“As he did so they two men threatened him before driving off,” added Mr Harrison.
Derbyshire Police said they were looking for a man who was black and seen driving a small silver car from the Co-op on Strutt Street. He had a shaved head, aged around 20 and was wearing a grey top and grey shorts.
Superintendent Jim Allen said: “Any attack, physical or verbal, upon military personnel on the streets of Derbyshire will not be tolerated.
“We will pursue all lines of enquiry to identify the person responsible.
“If this was some kind of joke or prank, it was in appallingly bad taste.
“I would urge the man responsible to contact us straight away and explain himself rather than wait for us to find and arrest him.”
Community Fundraiser for RBL, Christine Selden said: “The safety of our Poppy Collectors is our utmost priority and we are shocked and saddened to hear that a Poppy Collector has been treated in this manner.
“This year, up to 350,000 volunteers will help us to help us ensure that the poppy is available to all those who wish to wear one and we are thankful to every Poppy Collector that gives up their time.”
Anyone who has information should call the police on 101.