CHINGFORD: Pensioners traumatised after police raid wrong house

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The Longs' home in Chingford The Longs' home in Chingford

AN ELDERLY couple, one of whom has a heart condition, have spoken of their terror after police mistakenly raided their home at 6am.

Norman and Barbara Long were asleep in their home in Valley Side, Chingford, when the officers smashed their front door in.

Grandfather-of-four Mr Long, 77, said: “I heard a lot of noise, shouting and glass breaking, I thought we were being burgled.

“Then we heard people shouting 'police police police'.

“They asked me where my son is, before they realised they had the wrong house.”

Mrs Long, who has previously had heart surgery, suffered from a racing heart and sweating following the terrifying raid, and a doctor was called to attend her.

The couple were so traumatised by the raid that hours after the attack they were still being treated for shock.

It has now emerged the police officers should have raided the house of a suspected criminal in nearby Valley Side Parade.

Mr Long said: “They put the fear of Christ into me and my wife.

“How can they make a mistake like this? What would happen if they do this and somebody dies?”

The couple are considering making a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The raid at the Longs' home was part of a series of co-ordinated raids across Chingford yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

The operation, which involved more than 100 officers, is the largest of its kind in the last three-and-a-half years.

A total of 12 addresses were targeted and 14 people arrested as part of an operation to crackdown on drugs and gun crime.

The mistake at the Longs' home comes in a week when the Met has come under fire for its handling of the London G20 protests in April.

Comments (19)

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2:00pm Wed 8 Jul 09

leytonstoner says...

Doh !!
Doh !! leytonstoner
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Wed 8 Jul 09

cog says...

Whoops
Whoops cog
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Wed 8 Jul 09

Morris Hickey says...

Plod loses the plot - yet again. This is a disgrace, and a copper somewhere in the system deserves nothing less than a P45.
Plod loses the plot - yet again. This is a disgrace, and a copper somewhere in the system deserves nothing less than a P45. Morris Hickey
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Wed 8 Jul 09

inézc says...

Police intelligence at its best again - an example to all of us!
Police intelligence at its best again - an example to all of us! inézc
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Wed 8 Jul 09

Touchwood says...

The Longs need to stop considering a complaint and sue the Met for every last penny of the Commissioner's pension!!
The Longs need to stop considering a complaint and sue the Met for every last penny of the Commissioner's pension!! Touchwood
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Wed 8 Jul 09

Fresh Gravee says...

Cynthia Jarratt, died of a heart attack in similar circumstances a few years ago after Police raided her house.

Police never seem to learn from their mistakes.

It is bish, bash, wollop, ting, tang, twang, sorry Madam, err is this number 43, er 52, er 123, er what does it say on that warrant Sid, I thought you said the house with the azalea in the front garden, oh you mean the house opposite the house...........

Sir Robert Mark must be cringing in his rocking chair.
Cynthia Jarratt, died of a heart attack in similar circumstances a few years ago after Police raided her house. Police never seem to learn from their mistakes. It is bish, bash, wollop, ting, tang, twang, sorry Madam, err is this number 43, er 52, er 123, er what does it say on that warrant Sid, I thought you said the house with the azalea in the front garden, oh you mean the house opposite the house........... Sir Robert Mark must be cringing in his rocking chair. Fresh Gravee
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Wed 8 Jul 09

db7martin says...

what a complete mess they say the operation has been on going for 14 months and they still get one of the addresses wrong.the police are always making mistakes and have nearly caused an old couple to have an heart attack i do hope the longs take action and someone loses there job.i cant believe what you hear about the police in this area mosts of them are lemons
what a complete mess they say the operation has been on going for 14 months and they still get one of the addresses wrong.the police are always making mistakes and have nearly caused an old couple to have an heart attack i do hope the longs take action and someone loses there job.i cant believe what you hear about the police in this area mosts of them are lemons db7martin
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Wed 8 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

Isn't this the operation with our Borough Commander got out of his tuxedo to attend?
Isn't this the operation with our Borough Commander got out of his tuxedo to attend? Techno2
  • Score: 0

9:26am Thu 9 Jul 09

walthamforester says...

I take back the congratulations I posted on the other story about the raid. This couple will be traumatised for life. They are probably already considering moving. Mark Benbow needs to make a public apology immediately.
I take back the congratulations I posted on the other story about the raid. This couple will be traumatised for life. They are probably already considering moving. Mark Benbow needs to make a public apology immediately. walthamforester
  • Score: 0

10:02am Thu 9 Jul 09

JackSpur says...

The police made a mistake. They are, after all, a collection of human beings who are fallible. Whilst i have every sympathy for the Longs i'm sure they are reasonable people and they and the police can agree to a course of action that will compensate them for the damages they have incured.

To all those who are criticising the police may you never be in a position where you personally need them in life threatening situation.
The police made a mistake. They are, after all, a collection of human beings who are fallible. Whilst i have every sympathy for the Longs i'm sure they are reasonable people and they and the police can agree to a course of action that will compensate them for the damages they have incured. To all those who are criticising the police may you never be in a position where you personally need them in life threatening situation. JackSpur
  • Score: 0

10:35am Thu 9 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

JackSpur wrote:
The police made a mistake. They are, after all, a collection of human beings who are fallible. Whilst i have every sympathy for the Longs i'm sure they are reasonable people and they and the police can agree to a course of action that will compensate them for the damages they have incured. To all those who are criticising the police may you never be in a position where you personally need them in life threatening situation.
I do not blame the average police officer, but I find their leadership cringeworthy.I have every sympathy for offiercs who are led by people who decide to put themselevs in the papers in the maner of the Borough Commander - posing for photos while the police battered their way into one of the suspects' houses instead of ensuring everyone had the right information, was at the right place and was properly focussed on the job in hand.
[quote][p][bold]JackSpur[/bold] wrote: The police made a mistake. They are, after all, a collection of human beings who are fallible. Whilst i have every sympathy for the Longs i'm sure they are reasonable people and they and the police can agree to a course of action that will compensate them for the damages they have incured. To all those who are criticising the police may you never be in a position where you personally need them in life threatening situation.[/p][/quote]I do not blame the average police officer, but I find their leadership cringeworthy.I have every sympathy for offiercs who are led by people who decide to put themselevs in the papers in the maner of the Borough Commander - posing for photos while the police battered their way into one of the suspects' houses instead of ensuring everyone had the right information, was at the right place and was properly focussed on the job in hand. Techno2
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Thu 9 Jul 09

Waltham Forest Borough Commander says...

I am truly sorry for the distress and upset caused to Mr and Mrs Long. Senior officers have since visited the couple to apologise and to explain what happened.

We visited a number of addresses over a two-day period as part of a large-scale policing operation involving officers from the Met’s specialist units, local boroughs and neighbouring constabularies.

The raids enabled us to secure some very positive results, including 21 people charged with 133 drugs and firearms offences, the recovery of more than £100,000 of drugs and four firearms. Our actions have significantly disrupted the activities of violent gangs operating in the north Chingford area and the effects will inevitably be felt across the whole borough.

Waltham Forest Borough has reduced crime by 14% over the last 3 years, this includes a 44% reduction in personal robbery - equating to 1000 less victims of personal robbery each year. We will always work hard to make positive improvements to the lives of those who live and work in Waltham Forest.

Regards

Mark Benbow
Chief Superintendent
Borough Commander
Waltham Forest Police
I am truly sorry for the distress and upset caused to Mr and Mrs Long. Senior officers have since visited the couple to apologise and to explain what happened. We visited a number of addresses over a two-day period as part of a large-scale policing operation involving officers from the Met’s specialist units, local boroughs and neighbouring constabularies. The raids enabled us to secure some very positive results, including 21 people charged with 133 drugs and firearms offences, the recovery of more than £100,000 of drugs and four firearms. Our actions have significantly disrupted the activities of violent gangs operating in the north Chingford area and the effects will inevitably be felt across the whole borough. Waltham Forest Borough has reduced crime by 14% over the last 3 years, this includes a 44% reduction in personal robbery - equating to 1000 less victims of personal robbery each year. We will always work hard to make positive improvements to the lives of those who live and work in Waltham Forest. Regards Mark Benbow Chief Superintendent Borough Commander Waltham Forest Police Waltham Forest Borough Commander
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Thu 9 Jul 09

walthamforester says...

Credit where credit is due - at least Benbow is capable of apologsing for his mistakes.
Credit where credit is due - at least Benbow is capable of apologsing for his mistakes. walthamforester
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Thu 9 Jul 09

Sugarplum says...

At least the borough Commander has what it takes to publicly apologise for what was obviously a regrettable error.

Trouble is, the actual suspect has now been tipped off.

Well done to all on the operation though, at least some scum will be off the streets now!
At least the borough Commander has what it takes to publicly apologise for what was obviously a regrettable error. Trouble is, the actual suspect has now been tipped off. Well done to all on the operation though, at least some scum will be off the streets now! Sugarplum
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Thu 9 Jul 09

Waltham Forest Borough Commander says...

Just to clarify the position, we did (eventually) search the correct address and that person has been arrested and charged with supplying drugs.

Regards

Mark Benbow
Just to clarify the position, we did (eventually) search the correct address and that person has been arrested and charged with supplying drugs. Regards Mark Benbow Waltham Forest Borough Commander
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Thu 9 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

Waltham Forest Borough Commander wrote:
Just to clarify the position, we did (eventually) search the correct address and that person has been arrested and charged with supplying drugs. Regards Mark Benbow
Good to hear it and thanks for clarifying the situation and apologizing. But hand on heart, were you and your colleagues not even tad a distracted during your operations by the desire to make sure there were some press photos available of you knocking doors in?
[quote][p][bold]Waltham Forest Borough Commander[/bold] wrote: Just to clarify the position, we did (eventually) search the correct address and that person has been arrested and charged with supplying drugs. Regards Mark Benbow[/p][/quote]Good to hear it and thanks for clarifying the situation and apologizing. But hand on heart, were you and your colleagues not even tad a distracted during your operations by the desire to make sure there were some press photos available of you knocking doors in? Techno2
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Thu 9 Jul 09

JackSpur says...

Wow, did not expect the Borough Commander to reply here. Have to respect you for communicating with the local public in this way. Thanks
Wow, did not expect the Borough Commander to reply here. Have to respect you for communicating with the local public in this way. Thanks JackSpur
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Thu 9 Jul 09

LarryTLemur says...

JackSpur wrote:
Wow, did not expect the Borough Commander to reply here. Have to respect you for communicating with the local public in this way. Thanks
It's probably just another of Claridger/Huw/Gravee
's multiple personalities :-)
[quote][p][bold]JackSpur[/bold] wrote: Wow, did not expect the Borough Commander to reply here. Have to respect you for communicating with the local public in this way. Thanks[/p][/quote]It's probably just another of Claridger/Huw/Gravee 's multiple personalities :-) LarryTLemur
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Thu 9 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

LarryTLemur wrote:
JackSpur wrote: Wow, did not expect the Borough Commander to reply here. Have to respect you for communicating with the local public in this way. Thanks
It's probably just another of Claridger/Huw/Gravee 's multiple personalities :-)
No, Its the Borough Commander alright. He loves being in the paper.
[quote][p][bold]LarryTLemur[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JackSpur[/bold] wrote: Wow, did not expect the Borough Commander to reply here. Have to respect you for communicating with the local public in this way. Thanks[/p][/quote]It's probably just another of Claridger/Huw/Gravee 's multiple personalities :-)[/p][/quote]No, Its the Borough Commander alright. He loves being in the paper. Techno2
  • Score: 0

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