Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Police are paying out thousands of pounds each year to people in Havering – for damaging their doors during raids.
The figures, which came to light following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Recorder, show since 2009/10 the Met has paid nearly £24,000 compensation for door repairs in the borough.
Police said they could not reveal whether the claims related to raids in which the wrong address had been targeted.
The number of claims each year ranged from 22 in 2011/12 and 2012/13 to 25 in 2010/11.
Last year, a further eight claims were made for damage to other property, but the Met could not say what it was.
Police only pay out on about a quarter of claims for door damage, with 24 since 2009 attracting compensation.
The average amount paid out per successful claim is just under £1,000.
Across the capital, the Met spends more than £200,000 a year on compensation following raids – the equivalent of nine entry level constables’ salaries – but again officers could not say how many of these related to raids carried out on the wrong property.
A separate Recorder FOI request showed 939 claims were made in London in 2012/13, with the MPS paying out £203,873.23 – a fraction down from the £217,591.57 handed out the previous year.
Over the last two years, the highest single amount paid out by the Met following forced entry to a property in Havering was £2,800.
Eleanor Mc Grath, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This is a considerable amount of taxpayers’ money for the Met to waste as a result of damaged doors.
“It is very important that police are able to fight crime effectively and that means they get the right address during raids.
“Being more careful would mean they have more resources to knock down the doors of genuine criminals.”
Have you made a claim to the police for damage to property during a raid? We’d like to hear your story - get in touch on 020 8477 3903 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.