Police and my rights?

Sorry in advance for the long post, and please don't judge have seen similar threads and some are not pleasant. We have done everything possible to help my son, I do not condone my sons behaviour, he has destroyed our family but he is still my son. This is not about him but about me and my rights.

My son has additional needs, groomed in school, used drugs from age 14, in February of this year aged 18 he was sent to prison for drug dealing, no dealing is acceptable I know this. Was not from my home, he was found in a hotel not even in an area where we live. Because of his history, police have attended my home twice since 2017 with search warrants, have always let them in as if he's done wrong that's on him, nothing has ever been found. I have never used, possessed or sold drugs in my life.

I now live alone and have done for the last 8 months, I have bipolar and since 2017 severe anxiety, I rarely go out, the only visitors to my home are my daughter and occasionally her partner. For the last 8 months I have for the first time in years been able to sleep, I know where my son is 24/7, I know he's safe, I know he's not involved in criminal activity, and I know the police won't be knocking my door. Until last week.

Last week I went for a walk, I live in a quiet cul-de-sac, left my door unlocked as I usually do if I am able to go for a walk, on my return I knew someone had been in my house, all my internal doors were open, could see my shed had been broken into and damaged, someone had been through my greenhouse, side gate was unlocked and open. Went to go and check upstairs and there was paperwork on the stairs, the police had carried out a search warrant under the misuse of drugs act. I checked my doorbell video, eight officers from local police and firearms unit one with a battering ram had been in my home.

I telephoned and spoke to the officer on the paperwork, he claimed that over the past 3 weeks they had received 4 phonecalls claiming that drugs were being sold from the address (I was on holiday for 2 of them). I explained that I live alone and have never touched drugs, he said they had intelligence saying my son resided at the address and was selling drugs from here. I told him my son was in prison, he asked how long, I said 8 months at which point he became slightly aggressive, told me I was lucky my door was unlocked or he'd have put it through, I said if he'd rung the doorbell I could have told him where shed key was rather than damaging it, he said he didn't have to do that, and he told me it went in my favour that it was a negative search. I don't understand how it's in my favour when I have never done anything wrong. He went on to say that given my sons history the warrant was reasonable.

Given my son has been in prison for 8 months, I have no criminal history, I only have 2 visitors so no people calling day and night at all hours, zero evidence of any criminal activity occurring as there is none are they allowed to do this? I am now too afraid to lock my door so they can open it whenever instead of putting it through. I could have made sense of it if my son was living here but he's not. His life choices are not mine.








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Comments

  • Does sound very unreasonable and unjustified given your son is in prison currently. Whatever the intelligence surely the police could have put two and two together and worked out there was no truth to it if the intelligence said your son was dealing from the house when he was up in prison.

    I would raise a complaint with the police force.

    I don’t judge, I had respect for the police until they let me down over a crime I reported last year, lost all faith in them now.
  • Yes, they can do this as the police would have gone before a magistrate to justify why a search warrant should be issued. Clearly the police and magistrate belived  the information given for the search warrant to be issued.
  • happymumto2
    happymumto2 Posts: 339
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    edited 17 October 2022 at 7:22PM
    Yes, they can do this as the police would have gone before a magistrate to justify why a search warrant should be issued. Clearly the police and magistrate belived  the information given for the search warrant to be issued.
    @powerful_Rogue I understand they went to a magistrate to justify why a search warrant was required, however they need to demonstrate to said magistrate that there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been committed and that evidence of that offence will be found on that premises. I live alone, have no criminal history, my sons current location is on the police database so they would know he is not at my address, so what grounds would they have to have to send 8 officers, including a firearms unit and battering ram? They must have provided false or misleading information to obtain the warrant, the officer said their intelligence was that my son is living here and selling drugs from the house when their database would show otherwise. And if what you say is true then they can come whenever they like they need no evidence, so I have no rights?


  • They may be thinking along the lines that your son had left drugs in the premises before he went to jail, or maybe they have been given false intelligence by a rival who is unaware your son is now off the streets.  I'd like to think they are not dumb enough to not know which of their suspects are not in prison. All speculation of course but if it's intelligence lead I wouldn't expect they would be too quick to disclose too much information to you.
    Sorry for the situation your'e in it sounds like you have had a really rough time through no fault of your own.  
    Maybe try making a complaint to the Police, if they have gained a warrant under false pretences I can't see that doing them any favours. 
    MSE probably isn't the best place to get advice on stuff like this unfortunately, maybe try and get some Professional Independent Legal Advice.

    Hope your son gets straight.
  • @happymumto2

    1.  Speak to Citizens' Advice.  As well as asking for their advice, ask if they can recommend a solicitor you can speak to.  Some solicitors firms will provide 30 minutes free advice and CAB should be able to tell you who they are.  I'd suggest you might want a firm specialising in criminal law and/or civil rights law.  (They often go hand in hand).

    2.  If you live in a university town, some university law departments help to provode free legal advice at community law centres or community law clinics.  Again CAB should know.

    3.  Consider making a formal complaint to get this on record.


  • k3lvc
    k3lvc Posts: 4,175
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    Silly question but are you sure your son is still in prison ? How long was he sentenced for ? (if 12mths he could easily be out now)

    It's unusual for a warrant to be issued if the previous perpetrator can't possibly be at the address and if there's no prior evidence of your involvement hence the question
  • @k3lvc Yes he's still in prison is due to be released next year, he was sentenced to 30 months so will serve 15 months. I have no criminal history I have never touched or been involved in any drug related activity. Personally I don't think they checked their computer system to know where he was.

    @tight4rse In February knock at the door, 2 plain clothes officers told me they had him in custody and that they had a search warrant, no issue I told them to carry on, it was a negative search he hasn't been home since, so am guessing that will be on their computer system as well. The only intelligence the current officer disclosed was that they had 4 telephone calls in 3 weeks saying he was here and that drugs were being sold from here. Have never denied them access if he's done wrong that's on him, so I don't understand with him not here, why would they have put my door through instead of knocking it (had it been locked), and why come with such force, this was a big operation, not the usual knock at the door warrants I have had previously. Also the actual search took 6 minutes, on my video they enter my house at 10.31 and leave at 10.37, 3 bedrooms, attic, bathroom, sitting room, kitchen, 2 outbuildings and a greenhouse, they 100% wouldn't have found anything, but how could they possibly have conducted a proper search in 6 minutes. I'm thinking they've come in realised they've made a mistake, had a quick look round and left.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,461
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    Yes, they can do this as the police would have gone before a magistrate to justify why a search warrant should be issued. Clearly the police and magistrate belived  the information given for the search warrant to be issued.
    @powerful_Rogue I understand they went to a magistrate to justify why a search warrant was required, however they need to demonstrate to said magistrate that there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been committed and that evidence of that offence will be found on that premises. I live alone, have no criminal history, my sons current location is on the police database so they would know he is not at my address, so what grounds would they have to have to send 8 officers, including a firearms unit and battering ram? They must have provided false or misleading information to obtain the warrant, the officer said their intelligence was that my son is living here and selling drugs from the house when their database would show otherwise. And if what you say is true then they can come whenever they like they need no evidence, so I have no rights?


    This ^^^^ would convince me to make an official complaint against the police.
    Make a complaint | Independent Office for Police Conduct




  • Have been waiting on a call back from the officer since last week, as on the day I spoke to him I was beside myself and didn't ask relevant questions. He phoned this morning, I asked him on what grounds was a warrant sought given I live alone with no history, and what evidence was provided to get warrant secured. Is now saying they received 5 calls saying that someone at the address was smoking weed. We are 16 semi-detached houses in a cul-de-sac, next door a couple in their 50's, daughter & partner in their 20's smoke weed sitting on their front lawn in full view of everyone, their business not mine given my own situation.

    I said so you're telling me for reports of someone smoking weed, it would require 8 officers with a firearms unit and battering ram to attend, he said it's up to the lead officer to decide which units are sent depending on the seriousness of the crime, he also says there was a dog unit here, but there is no dog on video. I said the warrant states drug dealing, he said it had nothing to do with drug dealing they use that so that they can take things like mobile phones etc as evidence. Warrant states "Drug and documentation relating to drug transactions and drug dealing including documents stored electronically on mobile phones, computer devices and removable storage". My son's mobile phone is on my bedside table, my laptop was on kitchen table but nothing was taken.

    I said so this has nothing to do with my son, he said no as he knows my son is in prison (yet last week he claimed they had intelligence to say my son was at the address and selling drugs from here). Now I have never turned a blind eye in relation to my son, on multiple occasions I took his phone to police station with actual evidence of adults offering and selling various drugs to a child (as he was at the time), nothing was done to any of them, as they said facebook messages and texts were not enough evidence, they made a note of it and that was that. When I mentioned this he said that wasn't anything to do with him (he's correct), and that he's only concerned with this case and they had intelligence saying there was drug related activity at the address.

    I asked why would such an important search of a house and outbuildings for weed smoking only last 6 minutes, he said they sent the dog through and it didn't react, are three separate videos recorded is no dog to be seen on any of them, the doorbell is on the side not the front of the door, so it records the entire street, they are not parked on the street they are somewhere around the corner, I watch them all run from around the corner and up the street, up my steps, first one tries the door which is open and he enters screaming, second one in riot gear with a battering ram puts the ram down outside and enters, as do the following 4, 2 are ambling slowly up the street, definitely no dog visible.

    I asked what happens if he gets more calls claiming there is drug activity going on here, last weeks search was negative, February search was negative. He said there have been occasions when he's done a negative search today and had a positive search 3 or 4 days later after more calls. So end result I can no longer lock my door as I am pretty sure the housing authority would evict me if the door was put through.
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