Walsoken pensioner says police should pay for door they damaged
An angry Fenland pensioner is determined police will pick up the bill for damage caused to his door when officers forced their way into his property earlier this summer.
Norfolk police sawed their way into Geoffrey Doubleday's Walsoken home after dispatching armed officers to the property on May 12.
The incident saw at least nine police cars and more than 10 officers, including an armed unit, attending the property in Broad End West in response to what a spokesperson described as “a concern for the safety” of the occupant incident.
Eighty-nine-year-old Mr Doubleday was left with his door in two pieces and was urged to put in a claim for the damage once the incident which was related to a firearms certificate was resolved.
But Mr Doubleday, who lives alone, said officers visited him this week to tell him they wanted to close the case and that he would not be receiving compensation for his door.
He claims the door will cost around £2,000 to replace, because it is solid wood and custom made, and is adamant the police should pick up the bill.
But he said the officers told him that his claim had been looked at and it was decided the circumstances surrounding the damage was down to Mr Doubleday and his actions on the day in question, and therefore it was up to him to replace it.
He said: "They told me it was my fault, but I didn't want them in my house. I had only had one jab at the time and I was trying to protect myself.
"They decided to saw my door in half and so they should pay for it."
The incident arose after Mr Doubleday was visited by a firearms officer who wanted to discuss his gun licence and weapons. The licence was due for renewal in June.
A neighbour who had ironically visited the property to discuss the possible sale of Mr Doubleday's .22rifle that day described the police actions at the time as "overkill" and said the licensing officer had possession of the gun because he had handed it to him.
It was at that point that Mr Doubleday made the comment: "perhaps I should keep the gun in case I want to shoot myself."
He then locked himself in his home as officers demanded he hand over his licence, he refused saying he wanted a photocopy of it for his records first and the incident escalated from there. Culminating in officers cutting down the door to get into Mr Doubleday's home and search it for the licence.