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Police criticised for staging mock burglaries
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”.
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.”
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