A FAMILY were left terrified after police raided the wrong house in a case of mistaken identity during a series of drug busts across Warrington.

Emma Pye along with her partner Mark Matthews and 10-year-old son Kyle were asleep in their house on Northolt Court in Padgate on Wednesday when they received an early wake-up call from officers.

"It was 6.20am and we were all asleep," said 32-year-old Emma, who has lived in the property for the past nine years.

"My son had felt unwell the previous evening so thankfully he was sleeping in an air bed next to us or who knows what state he would be in.

"We were woken by what sounded like sawing through my door as ramming it had failed. 

"My partner went to the window to see what the commotion was and realised it was police officers. 

"Despite my partner saying he would go downstairs to open the door they knocked it down and stormed upstairs shouting and forcibly took my partner downstairs and separated us from each other and my son."

Emma recalled how officers remained at the house for around an hour where they were questioned by police.

It later became clear that Mark had been mistaken for one of the suspects.

"I'm now left with no front door for the foreseeable future," said Emma, who has received flowers from the force as an apology. 

"I already suffer from anxiety attacks and, as you can imagine, this has been an extremely traumatic experience for us all."

Cllr Colin Froggatt (Poulton South - LAB) has also issued a statement on behalf of the family.

He said: "This is an obvious case of wrong identification of a suspect resulting in an innocent family being traumatised and subjected to the violent entry by the police into their home. 

"It seems pretty obvious that the police have acted on the wrong assumptions rather than absolute facts.

"To compound the situation the police left the premises unsecured with the absence of a front door which had been smashed down during entry. 

"I understand a police presence should have been retained there until the home had been secured. 

"After three days the home is still without a front door, although the police have assured the family that they will try to remedy the situation as soon as possible, have offered their sincerest apologies and have delivered a bunch of flowers 

“The police have been, and rightly so, publicly self-congratulatory over their successes in this operation but have been remarkably silent regarding this failure of intelligence which has not only traumatised an innocent family but caused physical disruption and is damaging to their good reputation in the neighbourhood."

DCC Darren Martland, from Cheshire Police, described the incident as an 'honest mistake'.

He said: “I’d like to offer an apology to the family for the upset we have caused. 

"Operation Impact was an intelligence-led operation which targeted 19 addresses across three force areas. 

"As part of any operation thorough checks are carried out before any action is taken. 

"Unfortunately in this case we made an honest mistake and are doing everything we can to resolve the situation. 

“We have spoken to the family and offered our sincere apologies and we will continue to liaise with them while the matter is resolved.”

Police arrested 19 suspects following the series of raids across Warrington, Winsford, Merseyside and north Wales.

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