Police criticised for staging mock burglaries

Steven Morris
London Guardian
March 29, 2010

It was meant to be an imaginative way of highlighting how easy it is to break into people’s homes – but police in Devon today faced criticism for posing as burglars and sneaking into the homes of unsuspecting residents and collecting valuables in “swag bags”.

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Devon and Cornwall police – who left the swag bags behind – found more than 50 unsecured properties and claimed their owners were glad to receive the wake-up call and subsequent advice.

But not all residents were happy, and a lawyer suggested the officers may have been guilty of trespass.

Householder Mike Parsons said: “Talk about a police state. Since when have members of the constabulary been allowed to enter into someone’s private property uninvited and without a warrant?

“How long before a police officer is attacked and fatally wounded by a worried householder who hears a noise downstairs and then attacks the intruder? This is trespass, plain and simple.”

Full article here

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