April 22, 2009

Police bust down door, but woman won’t pay

A 73-year-old British woman said police are trying to force her to pay for repairs after officers broke down her front door while no one was home.

Mary Reason, 73, said she returned to her Staverton, England, home after a shopping trip to find the front door had been destroyed and police officers were inside the house, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Police said officers made the visit to Reason's home because she was due to testify in court but had not contacted witness services in three days.

Reason said police have billed her $145 for the cost of repairing her door, but she is refusing to pay.

I'm a pensioner who has had a stroke and I shouldn't have to deal with stuff like this from the police, she said. They had no reason to break in. ... They could have just walked round and seen there were no problems. I won't be paying -- I shouldn't have to.

A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Police said officers entered the home legally.

Officers had reason to believe that someone was in, but there were no signs of movement, she said. As a result officers forced entry to her property to ensure she was safe. They didn't find anyone in the property and fortunately it was later found that Mrs. Reason was safe and well.

It is not the responsibility of the constabulary to reimburse the cost of any damage which is the result of officers legally entering the property, she said.