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‘I can’t sleep after police bungled raid on my home’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

  • 15/02/13 Pic of man who was raided incorrectly - Burton, burton Andy Ross - had his house raided incorrectly as part of op nem raids

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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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  • burtontrash  |  February 22 2013, 12:39PM

    Yeah, and why do they have to shout 'Police!' - don't they know that there may be people sleeping inside? A quick 'Do excuse me, sir/madam. Sorry to disturb you at this hour. If you wish to complain about this my number is..' would suffice..

  • Burhan  |  February 20 2013, 9:49AM

    There have been reports that the information was leaked prior to the riad but still a crackdown of such scale was inevitable to kill this illegal trade. One thing i'm not sure is why do police always breaks the doors? why don't they just knock and let the occupants open the door first. (maybe a few seconds)

  • inbedwithmydummy  |  February 19 2013, 1:00PM

    The previous tenants of this flat left before or around xmas, I know because my mum lives opp. Since then people have stopped loitering and using the alley close by as 'drop off points'. Project nem has HAD a huge impact of the flow of drugs into BOT. People simply don't want to take the risk of following such an 'occupation'. The police just need to keep on it now, which they are doing. They have let down this man badly, I am wondering when they are going to remove the spray paint they have left RIGHT OUTSIDE his flat, stating 'proj nem, crimestopppers' etc. I tell u what it would take more than a bunch of flowers for me to accept their apology.......

  • Roger63  |  February 16 2013, 3:06PM

    Not the first Time About 15years ago our elderly relatives were sitting having their morning tea in Shobnall when they were raided by the drugs squad. There front door was so badly damaged when rammed that it had to be replaced at the tax payers expense. The door however was not even locked. Luckily the couple who were well in their 70'S lived to tell the tale also received a letter of apology and a bouquet of flowers from the chief constable. The excuse for raiding the wrong house they got the wrong white door.

  • squigglefish  |  February 16 2013, 11:11AM

    Yet more evidence that operation Nemesis is being run by the keystone cops. I notice from the reports that have been appearing that there is a lack of information about the amount of actual drugs seized, is this because the dealers all had prior warning that an operation was about to take place, messages were circulating about the morning raids before the first door was removed. Also I notice there has not been a lot of names for those arrested in the raids, if the police were truly proud of there work they should have named all suspects charged, however it appears from leaflets currently circulating that there raids were against prominently the Asian community and the lack of information coming from the police just adds to the speculation. Is it not true that most of the charges relate to past drug sales witnessed by undercover officers and that the supply of drugs in Burton has not been affected by these raids? Burton police raided a house and failed to find an occupant hiding in a loft of the property on a previous raid this shows the true level of incompetence. The raiding of this man's house just adds to there incompetence and brings fresh hatred towards what is widely believed to be a corrupt and spent force.