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Irate family criticise police after raid

Posted Tue 26th August 2008 at 09:41

A furious father has slammed police for carrying out a dawn raid at his Alderney home.

Butcher John Cosheril and his wife Valerie were asleep in bed when six police officers and two customs inspectors burst into their Water Lane property to hunt for controlled drugs last Wednesday morning.

Mr Cosheril's sons, Matthew, 25, and Stephen, 22, were handcuffed in their bedrooms before a 90-minute search took place which led to nothing being seized.

Mr Cosheril, 52, said: "We're all upset, angry and disgusted.

"The police burst in at ten-to-seven, handcuffed my sons while they were in their beds and spent over an hour rifling through all our possessions.

"Nothing was found and the police wouldn't even tell me what they were looking for. It was a shocking invasion of our privacy and something I never want my family to be put through again."

Mr Cosheril said he was relieved his 19-year-old daughter Nicola was staying with a friend when the raid took place.

"I'm so relieved my daughter wasn't here as this would have really upset her. The police told me she would have been handcuffed if she'd been in her bed, like Matthew and Stephen were, and the thought of that is unbearable."

Mr Cosheril has called on the police to carry out extensive research before raiding people's homes in future.

"All the police told me was that they'd obtained a search warrant from the court and were acting on information.

"If that's true, they need to do a bit more research on the information they're given in future because at the moment it seems anyone can tell the police something and they'll ransack a person's home.

"Raids like this do nothing to encourage co-operation between the public and police and I imagine they also cost a lot of money."

Mr Cosheril, who has lived and worked in Alderney for more than 30 years, said he would have been happy to allow the police into his home had they approached him before the raid.

"I know the sergeant quite well and wouldn't have had a problem with him asking if he could have a look round.

"I've been in business here for a long time and it feels as if someone's attacking me for no reason.

"I understand the police have a job to; I want drugs to be taken off the streets as much as they do. However, there are ways and means of doing that and this isn't the right way."

Mr Cosheril is planning to complain to the police and says he will demand payment for a damaged door.

He said: "The front door wasn't damaged but it would have been crushed had it been locked. The jacuzzi door, however, was ruined and I want the police to pay for a new one."

Sergeant Jeff Hill said the raid, one of four to be carried out simultaneously in the island, was planned in order to search for controlled drugs.

Sgt Hill said: "As part of a pre-planned operation police executed search warrants at several Alderney addresses with the intention of looking for controlled drugs and related paraphernalia.

"The aim was to build confidence within the local community and assure residents that drug issues are being taken seriously and are being positively dealt with."

Sergeant Hill confirmed nothing had been seized from Mr Cosheril's property and assured him compensation for his damaged door could be claimed.

"Nothing was seized from Mr Cosheril's property. Owners have the right to claim compensation for any damage caused."

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