19:03 Friday 15 February 2013

'I can't sleep after police bungled raid on my home'

Written byROB SMYTH

A MAN has been left unable to sleep and frightened he may have to move after police raided his home looking for a suspected drug dealer – only to find that he moved.

Andy Ross was given the ‘shock of life’ in his Craven Street home after he was woken up just before 7am on Wednesday morning home by a house full of police officers.

The case of mistaken identity came as part of Staffordshire Police’s Operation Nemesis – launched in the town last month to tackle a rising drug problem.

The 51-year-old told the Mail: “I was asleep on the sofa and the next thing that I remember is a loud bang at the door and then there was a corridor full of police screaming ‘get down, get down.

“I didn’t have a clue what was going on and I was put on the floor and handcuffed by officers before being placed on the sofa and questioned.

“It soon became apparent that they were looking for the previous occupant.

“I am anti-drugs and am really behind all that the police have been doing to tackle the problem in the town but I thought after what had happened with me it could have been handled a bit better.

“I have been left very shaken and have not slept a wink since it happened. Every noise, no matter how small, I think is it happening all over again.

“I have been thinking that I might after move as a result.”

Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, commander of the East Staffordshire local policing team, said: “In complicated investigations such as this we work very hard to make sure our information is accurate and up to date.

“However, there is always a small chance that the suspects may have moved from the premises.

“Neighbourhood officers from the local policing team will be working with the new occupant to ease any concerns and offer reassurance.”

The operation, the second of its kind this year, saw 16 suspects netted and 14 charged with drug offences.

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