Police carrying out a series of early morning house raids across Manchester gave one family a nasty surprise when they mistakenly targeted their house.
Chantelle White told Sky News that she and her partner Craig Bickerstaffe were woken up by banging on the door at 5.30am on Thursday morning.
When Mr Bickerstaffe opened the door to see what was going on, she said the police rushed in and went upstairs.
I asked them what they were doing, Ms White added. I told them there were only young children upstairs and would be scared.
Ms White then said her requests to accompany the officers upstairs to reassure her children were refused, and she was forced to remain in the living room with her partner and three-year-old son, who was ill at the time.
She added: I was scared with the noise it made, and it made all the kids scared, especially when they wouldn’t let us upstairs.
Her son, who witnessed the incident, was convinced that the police had arrived to arrest his father.
Ms White said: He asked if they were coming to take him to jail. He asked Craig: ‘Are they taking you to jail, daddy?’
When the officers finished the room-to-room search, they returned downstairs and asked for a former tenant, who had left the property four years earlier.
Ms White maintains that she had already informed police almost two years ago that the man no longer resided in the property after an officer made a similar late-night house call.
She said: I told him that he no longer lived here, and [the officer] said he would update the file and said he was sorry for calling.
Ms White said she reminded the officers of the previous visit on Thursday, and received the same promises to update the records.
But before leaving, she said the officers told her that they can’t promise it won’t happen again.
It does make you feel a bit scared that it could happen again, she said. It’s like you’re always going to be expecting it, jumping at every noise outside.
A spokesperson from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed to Manchester Evening News that officers had attended Ms White’s home, but said it wasn’t a raid.
Officers entered with permission from an occupier of the house who opened the door to the officers’ knocking, the spokesperson said.
They checked each room of the house to see if the wanted person was present. The children stayed in bed all the time and were not disturbed or awoken.
The spokesperson added that officers had then explained their reasons for the visit and that Ms White seemed satisfied, albeit the man who was present did not.
GMP said five men, aged 22, 28, 28, 30 and 38, were arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary as a result of seven raids across Oldham on Thursday morning.
It was part of the wider Operation Hansford, which is cracking down on organised crime across northern England.
Chief Superintendent Neil Evans said the raids were testament to the hard work and dedication of the team in Oldham.
He added: The importance of our investigation and the severity of the crimes committed should not be underestimated.
(c) Sky News 2019: Family’s shock as police raid wrong Manchester house at dawn