British armed police forced their way into a prisoner’s home to rescue his “very hungry” gerbil after he refused to grant access to the RSPCA. Both agencies have received some backlash for the heavy-handed approach.
Derbyshire Police raided a home in Allestree on Saturday, by which point the owner-turned-prisoner had been jailed for a full week, and their long-suffering gerbil had been kept in solitary back home. Though the prisoner raised the alarm about their likely starving pet, they refused to allow the RSPCA to intervene, seemingly out of spite.
At this point, the Armed Response Unit was drafted in to make light work of the door, at which point the poor animal was transferred to a local veterinarian clinic for emergency treatment.
“We are not trained as standard in method of entry unless it involves an old-fashioned, size-nine boot. Our colleagues on the Armed Response Unit have a number of tools and methods to force entry to properties, most methods cause considerably less damage than our size nine would,” the police wrote in response to one user who questioned the need for armed officers to assist in the rescue of a mere gerbil.
A Derbyshire police spokesperson said assistance from the Armed Response Unit was commonplace in such situations and had no impact on “operational policing” in the area. If they were required for more pressing duties, the armed officers could have redeployed elsewhere with little to no issue or delay.
Upon entering the house, officers reportedly discovered that the gas fire had been left on. They switched it off and made the property safe.
Meanwhile, the gerbil is currently staying at her majesty’s pleasure with the RSPCA, and may be put up for adoption if not claimed by the imprisoned owner.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!