Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Police offer beer and flowers after smashing wrong door

Police have apologised to a family after smashing down their door by mistake, then later offering a bottle of beer and some flowers to say sorry.

Officers raided the home of Kayleigh Hill and Anthony McVey, thinking it was a suspected drug dealer's base.

But after detaining Mr McVey, 23, of Dibden Purlieu, near Southampton, police realised the suspect had since moved out.

Hampshire Constabulary said it had started an investigation.

They will also organise for the family's door to be repaired at the force's expense.

'Inappropriate choice'

After the blunder officers returned later in the day to apologise to the couple, who have two young children.

Along with their kind words they also handed over a bottle of beer, worth about £1.79, to Mr McVey, a former soldier with the Royal Engineers, and a bunch of flowers to his fiancée.

It is believed that officers had been told by their superiors to make a gesture to the family, but they were then spoken to about their inappropriate choice of a bottle of beer as a gift.

A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: "The matter is under investigation and we are working very closely with the family to resolve the issues, some of which have already been addressed.

"We have apologised to them for this inconvenience.

"We do robustly target those believed to be involved in the supply and use of illegal substances.

"On this occasion, a former occupant was in fact the target and we would like to point out that this family are in no way connected to this investigation."



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