A care service manager who had a tyre puncture in Hitchin town centre today came home to have armed police raid his house.
Blimey, that’s illegal now? I’d better confess, I had a flattie in 2007!
Fishponds Road and part of Bunyan Road were closed for more than an hour around lunchtime while police searched what has been Mr Rayat’s family home since 1979 – with his 17-year-old son Harkeert put against a wall and handcuffed too.
Harkeert said: “I unlocked the door, and the officer pointed his gun at me and told me to put my hands up – then he grabbed me and threw me against the wall.
“They had me out there on the main road, being searched in handcuffs.”
This is, of course, yet another false allegation, with someone knowing just how to push the police’s buttons:
“We’re quite well-known in the Sikh community here, so this was very embarrassing,” said Mr Rayat.
“It was such an ordeal. Just horrendous.”
The raid came about after someone called police to report a gunshot coming from Mr Rayat’s orange car – but the allegation changed more than once, with Mr Rayat’s family also falsely alleged to have made gesticulations from the vehicle.
You’d think that’d be a bit of a red flag, but no.
“People are on edge at the moment,” said Mr Rayat. “I get that, and I totally get what the police have done. But this just shows people have a real lack of understanding about who’s who.
“I’m quite a strong person. I don’t really care – I know I’ve done nothing wrong, and we co-operated completely – but for the kids and my mum it’s another matter.
“To have such a ludicrous accusation made is quite hurtful. Fortunately, we’ve lived here so long people know us and what we’re like.”
Wow, Mr Rayat, better be careful there, they’ll be back to bang you up again, for ‘Islamophobia’!
The family are particularly upset that the officers ignored their request that they take off their shoes before entering a special upstairs room filled with Sikh religious items and texts – with bootprints clearly visible in the room after the raid was over.
A police spokeswoman told the Comet: “Officers have a duty to act on information received and any reports involving firearms are taken very seriously.
“Police responded to a call at 12.09pm today from a member of the public who stated they had seen two men inside a car in Bunyan Road holding what they believed to be a firearm.
“Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Armed Policing Unit, the BCH Dog Unit and North Herts Intervention attended the location.
“Armed officers detained a man and entered a property before carrying out a search to ensure there were no people inside the address with a firearm.
“A search of the car was also carried out. It was quickly established that there were no firearms present and everything was in order.
“We would like to stress that the occupants of the address searched have not committed any offences, nor were any arrests made.
“We apologise for any offence caused by the search. However, our main priority is to protect both the safety of the public and the safety of our officers, and detain any person or persons who are illegally in possession of a firearm.”
I note you don’t apologise for the religious offence. You’d be bloody quick to do so had it been another group.