No pay-out by police after officers smash van window
A self-confessed eccentric whose vehicle was broken into by police under anti-terrorism laws is considering legal action against them after being refused compensation.
Tim Pppppppppprice, who made headlines earlier this year when he elongated his name by deed poll to avoid cold-calling telephone salesmen, had left his Ford Transit parked in a London street in June, while he took the Tube.
Suspicious officers called to the scene found it parked bearing political slogans and containing a life-sized female mannequin.
Wires from a cigarette lighter AC/DC converter were seen poking out from under a towel.
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He returned to find glass from a smashed window in the driver's footwell and a note saying it had been broken into by officers responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle.
Mr Pppppppppprice, 49, of New Parks Boulevard, Leicester, wrote to the police days later demanding £200 compensation for repairing the smashed window.
After an acknowledgement letter received within days of his claim, last week he received a response from the Metropolitan Police's directorate of legal services turning down his claim.
The letter said that under the 2000 Terrorism Act, police had followed the correct procedures and he was not entitled to any compensation.
The letter added that compensation was only considered where there was neglect, but in this case the police action was "lawful, proportionate and justified" and they were unable to make any compensation claim out of public funds.
Mr Pppppppppprice said: "The letter says they were following correct procedure.
"They weren't," he claimed.
"If they had suspected the van contained an improvised explosive device, they should have cordoned off the area and evacuated buildings which were just a few feet away.
"I didn't even put a claim in for the mannequin which they damaged, which would cost about £400 to replace because I thought they would agree to pay for the damage to the window. In hindsight I wish I had claimed for that, too."
Since he received the letter denying him compensation, he has contacted by telephone the Metropolitan Police's complaints line.
He added: "They've told me they will investigate, but if I don't get a satisfactory response I will follow it up with a solicitor and I am considering taking legal action."
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "The Met's Directorate of Legal Services received a claim for compensation for a damaged window.
"The claim was rejected on the grounds that the police action taken was lawful, proportionate and justified under the Terrorism Act 2000."