Norfolk Police apologise to Fenland teenagers after officers burst into their home during botched raid
PUBLISHED: 17:57 30 November 2010
AN IRATE mother has received an apology from police after her children were left terrified when officers armed with batons burst into her Fenland home during a botched raid.
Officers raided the home in Elm High Road, Emneth, in an attempt to find a suspect - believed to be Polish - who had stolen a drill from the nearby B&Q.
But when three officers barged through the front door with batons raised they were confronted by three teenagers and a nine-year-old, all playing computer games.
“My children were terrified,” said Gina Edmead, who was out shopping at the time of the incident on November 20. “I have told my nine-year-old son that the police are the people to go to when you’re in trouble and now he doesn’t know what to believe.
“They said they were looking for a Polish guy who used to rent the house. They refused to leave until they had confirmed that the children weren’t Polish. So every time someone robs B&Q are they going to send a SWAT team round to my house?”
Police acted after an officer believed he had identified the drill thief as a Polish man - a former tenant at Mrs Edmead’s address. But the suspect had moved out of the premises earlier this year, leaving Mrs Edmead and her family free to occupy the home in September.
Police have now agreed to return to the house next week to apologise face to face to the children.
A spokesman for Norfolk Police, which carried out the raid, said: “We apologise sincerely to the family for any distress caused which was unintentional. We acted on the evidence available to us at the time.
“We are particularly keen to show the children involved that police are approachable and we look forward to inviting them to the police station where they will be treated to a VIP tour.”
Mrs Edmead added: “A sergeant phoned me and said they would apologise by taking my son and showing him around King’s Lynn police station - all the police cars and computers.
“I said if they’d used their computers right in the first place then they wouldn’t have ended up at my house. I said I wanted the officers to sit in front of my kids in my kitchen and tell them they were sorry.
“If it had been my kids that had been in the wrong they would expect them to apologise, so it works both ways. Although they’re the law they’re not above it.”
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