Thousands paid by Hertfordshire police after break-ins during warrants

A previous police raid unrelated to the payouts

A previous police raid unrelated to the payouts - Credit: Archant

COMPENSATION, running into thousands of pounds, was paid by police to householders, whose homes they had broken into.

Police raid

Police raid - Credit: Archant

Ten police raids, in Hatfield and WGC, were the subject of the payments which took place from May 2011 to May this year.

They were revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The WHT asked the force for details of the total for payments made for forced entry to properties wrongly forcibly entered from May 10 2011 to May 10 this year in WGC, Hatfield, Brookmans Park, Welham Green, Welwyn, Cuffley, Northaw, Goffs Oak and Potters Bar.

Payments were only made after police broke into properties in WGC and Hatfield.

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Police said the reasons for the forced entries were missing person, stolen goods, robbery, two drug related, three concern for welfare, a Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) search warrant, and fencing damaged while officers chased a suspect.

Hertfordshire Constabulary received 11 applications for compensation in the time period, which amounted to a total of £5454.89, in compensation payments.

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A police spokeswoman said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary conducts hundreds of warrants every year in the pursuit of criminals and to protect the people of Hertfordshire.

“Some of these warrants require us to force entry to a premises, and we are often required to force entry to a building if there is a concern for welfare of the person within that premises.

“Despite legal and intelligence checks being carried out so we can lawfully enter a premises, there have been a small number of occasions where, we have forced entry to a building that doesn’t have the suspect, relevant evidence or vulnerable person, however we have still gained entry legally.

“When this occurs we have a duty of care to the occupant or homeowner to repair and secure their premises.”

She added: “Hertfordshire Constabulary constantly reviews this process in order to try and keep disruption to a minimum.”

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