POLICE raided an innocent domestic abuse victim's home and tried to handcuff her – before realising the person they were interested in had moved out six months ago. Officers smashed the window and broke the door at the house in Pirbright Crescent, New Addington, on Tuesday morning, terrifying the female tenant showering upstairs. They went ahead with the ill-fated raid despite being told previously by the council that the name of the person living at the address did not match the warrant. Officers also continued to bang down the victim's door as neighbours shouted "'You've got the wrong house". Police searching for cocaine at the premises said say their "intelligence" was that the occupant named on the warrant was at the address. But he is thought to have moved out in February, long before the warrant was granted on June 5, and had nothing to do with the resident there now. The woman in her 40s, whom the Advertiser agreed not to identify, told how she was on her own at the house when police started bashing down the door at just after 8.30am. She said: "I was upstairs and I heard thumping as if someone was inside the house. "When I came to the top of the stairs I saw police at the door so I ran downstairs and said 'What's happened? Let me open the door'. "They started to break the glass right in front of me so I had to move and started screaming. "When they opened the door they just tried to handcuff me and I said 'I have not got clothes on' – I was wearing a towel. "They said there are women police to sit with me. I said 'I am not running away, because I am not a criminal and I have got nothing to hide'. "They said 'We have got a warrant to search for Class A drugs'. I said 'You can search wherever you want, I have got nothing to hide'. "They went up to my bedroom and messed it up. I am very shaken." The woman moved into the London and Quadrant Housing Association property in February, partly to escape domestic abuse, and lives there with her adult daughter. She said officers had eventually told her the name of the man they were looking for and asked if she knew him. She recognised his surname from mail arriving at the house. A witness described seeing more than 12 officers arrive at the address, and other people on the street shouting 'You have got the wrong house'. A Met Police spokesman said officers had believed, based on intelligence, that the person they were looking for was at that address, but declined to elaborate. on the information. She said: "We can confirm a drugs warrant issued by Croydon Magistrates' Court was executed on Tuesday, July 1, after a man was sought in connection with drugs offences. "When officers arrived he was not there; the occupiers who were at the address were not sought in connection with these offences." She added: "When officers were there, once they had established the person was not at the address, they did apologise. "If the occupier wishes to make a formal complaint, there are a number of ways in which she can pursue this. "Arrangements for the door to be repaired were left in the hands of the housing association." A council spokesman said an anti-social behaviour officer had told police the day before the bungled raid that the council had a housing benefit claim active at the address, but it did not match the name of the person police were looking for. Inquiries are ongoing to find the man they had thought was at the premises, police added.
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