Alidar Jarok wrote:
If they had an arrest warrant, it undoubtedly came with the power to enter. It's possible they didn't want to break the door or were worried about entering a home without knowing where someone was out of fear of getting shot.
Shoddy police work on both sides regardless of what is true.
You fear for safety of officers getting shot - you bring the right people and equipment with you. Risk assess properly with floor plans, resident checks, criminal warning markers etc. If you've not done that, you shouldn't be attending.
You don't want to break the door... you get a key first (as was done) or, well, frankly, you bust the door anyway. A power of entry arrest warrant in the UK covers any possible angle of litigation angle for the police. The police gave enough evidence/intelligence to convince the the court the suspect was in there to get the warrant... the courts deal with any fallout. If (in this case) drugs or the suspect is found inside, then NO costs can be claimed back. A power of entry has been supplied to FIND someone. Someone who typically isn't going to say "Oh, yes officer, come on in".
Sounds like a poor use of resources and tactics in my opinion. The only time I would use a softly softly approach would be if you have relevant intel that a person on the premises is either very aged/infirm (concerns for heart attack), or you expect to see a family of children in there. Still, I've seen suspects kids pouring drugs down the toilet, so...
It's different with standard search warrants though where costs can be claimed back if nothing is found and hence you MAY prefer a softer approach. Yet, still, a rapid entry is typically preferrable so nothing can be disposed of.
And to those who say it's heavy handed to go in with a larger group of officers... I'd ALWAYS go in with a minimum of 4-6 people, regardless if intelligence stated only one person ever lived in there. Firstly, overwhelming a suspect in such a rush-fashion will typically reduce any possibilty of casualty to the officers OR offender. Secondly, most people have friends. Thirdly, it's a quick job - once the suspect has been detained a search can be carried out by 1-2 people, releasing the others back to duty. Fourthly, if it is a large property then that group of officers can divide the searching labour, reducing searching time.
Method of Entry tactics are designed primarily to secure suspects and evidence and to preserve life. It's not shock and awe just cos it looks cool.
- Trust me, it looks "cooler" on the TV than in RL