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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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On the 27th December 2014, I returned from a

Customer Question

Dear Sir,
On the 27th December 2014, I returned from a holiday to find that my home had been forcibly entered, and the porch doors windows boarded up, as both had broken panes of glass.You can understand my not being pleased at the situation, but let me explain further.On the 1st December 2014 my cousin, Francis Giffen, and I left for a holiday abroad, the intended return date being the 30th January 2015.
All was going according to plan until he phoned his next-door neighbour to wish them a Merry Christmas and to check that all was well at his home in Leavesden.
It was then that his neighbour, Jill, told him about the police constable going to his home to try to ascertain my whereabouts.
The constable informed her, (Jill), that it had been reported that I had not been seen for some time and that a forced entry was to be made to establish if I were at home, but unable to answer the front door.
My cousin related this to me, and I immediately contacted Hertfordshire Constabulary via their website, and left a message that I was ok. As the website advised that a reply would probably take 28 days I thought it best to return home as soon as possible to stop this break-in, so I visited a local travel agent to arrange for my return flight to be brought forward to the earliest time and date possible (which was the 27th).Before I left for my holiday, I took all the perishable foods I had, placed them in a plastic carrier bag, and hung the bag over the garden fence, so my neighbours at number 27 would see it, and probably eat the food. I also thought that it would be an indication that I had gone away, as I and they had not been on speaking terms for some months.
I don’t know why, but on the 19th December 2014 , Mrs Emma Carter , the lady of the house at no. 27 decided that as she had not seen me for a period of time she should contact the police and report this fact.
It was this phone call that started the actions that caused me to terminate my holiday early, and the damage to be done to the front entrance of my home.I haven’t gotten to the bottom of this yet, but for some reason the Carters had written down the registration number of my cousin’s car. They gave this registration number to the Constable investigating this report, who used it to get my cousin’s address; but of course, my cousin wasn’t home to offer any information.I know my knowledge of Police procedure comes from watching the television, but I would have thought that one of the basic things to do when a person is reported in circumstances such as mine, is to contact the local hospital to see if they have any knowledge of that persons whereabouts, or next of kin’s contact details.
Had this course of action been taken, the hospital would have given my brother’s phone number, and he, or whoever answered his phone, could have told I was away on holiday, I would not have returned home thirty four days early, (and pay extra for the privilege), to the mess I found waiting for me, (one of the main reasons for the holiday was that I was fed up with decorating, and I came home to more being needed).My Question;
Who is liable for the costs I have incurred.Regards,
Steve.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon. Is there any reason why you didn't telephone the police to ascertain the situation before returning?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alice H,
I was in Thailand, and having received this news, absolutely fuming. These people next door who had been such a pain over the years were now poking their noses into my business, including writing down registration numbers of visitors to my home, now giving the police cause to smash their way into my home.
I didn’t think of phoning. Besides which, I don’t think there was enough credit on my phone for that phone call.
Even when I did phone the police, I needed to speak to a certain police officer. That took a few days, as he was not due back on duty. Then I had to speak to a certain sergeant. That took over a week.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What is it you want to achieve please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am waiting for a reply from Alice H at present, who offered assistance yesterday.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes they opted out so I am here to help
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you prepared for a phone call now?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I could be sitting here for some time waiting for a response, so could you give me a time & date, (tomorrow or later), for this phone call to take place.Regards,
Steve.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Call I call about 5pm?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that would be fine.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
As suggested I think the police are liable.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I sent the police a bill early last year. The local station commander rejected it saying that as the forced entry was done legally they are not liable for the cost.
I would rather be able to get the money from the person who made the original phone call as I consider her to be as much, if not more to blame, than the police.
In my opinion, it is not my bill, (I didn't cause or ask anyone to break in), and so it must be someone else’s bill. Including the flight money. Had the phone call not been made, I would not have felt the need to come home.(During my Mothers latter years I was her carer . She died on a Saturday morning, the Doctor didn’t arrive until Monday morning to write out the death certificate; then her washing carer turned up, I explained mum was dead, she phoned her office, then left. A short time later, the funeral company arrived to collect mums body. Just after they left the Police turned up. They had had a report I had a body in the house. While I was talking to one officer, the other, with my permission, went to look for a body. She seemed to take longer than she should, so I called out to her, and she returned saying that there was no (dead) body in the house. The officers were just about to leave when a Police sergeant arrived, saying that I might be charged with murder, and wanting samples of all the drugs, (medicines), in the house.
Between the times the funeral company took my mums body away and the police officer searching for a cadaver I didn’t go upstairs. Much later, when I was sorting mums things out, I couldn’t find her wedding ring. It was in a dressing table draw. Nor could I find her collection of pre-decimal money, which included white fivers, ten bob notes, and silver thrupenny bits. Maybe not worth a lot, but they should have been in her dressing table draw.
Possibly that is something to do with my not wanting people in my home whilst I am not present.
One of the first things I did after my return from Thailand was to walk around the house to see if I could spot any differences to the way I left it. The only thing I could see that looked wrong was; my laptop charger was switched on.
Also, it appears that; as the front doors were boarded up, it indicated that the property was unoccupied, and someone tried to get into my Campervan, they failed, so smashed a door mirror).
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then it appears you need to issue proceedings.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It would help if you were 100% sure, the police were liable.A police sergeant at the local station told me that;I am liable if I am in the property and don’t open the door for whatever reason.If the police decide to force the door when I am absent from the property for whatever reason, then they are liable for the damage caused.That is what I would like you to confirm, 100%.If there is any disparity, clauses, or issues which affect the above statements, I would like to know about them.
I’m sure you can appreciate that I would like to know what is in their armoury before the battle begins.Once I am sure of my position I will pay the local police station commander a visit. This can probably be settled without Court proceedings, though I have used MCOL several times.I’m not surprised that he bulked at the bill I sent him, but I will certainly discuss and consider an offer. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing, aint it!Regards,
Steve.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Litigation is never certain so no-one would ever say 100%.
Your claim only needs to succeed on 51% and my view it does.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want to go to court if I can help it. I would rather go have a chat with the local top cop.
My biggest expense in this is the travel. I made my own replacement porch doors for about 50 quid. If I am unlikely to get any compensation for travel, it is not worth going to court over.
As I said before; I want the money paid by next door. They are the ones who actually caused the problem. Getting a result from there seems equally unlikely. Evidently they have no liability for their actions.
Regards
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If they wont pay though, Court is the only option.
Alex

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