Has anything like this ever happened to you? 

One evening my wife and I were out in London when our daughter (grown up and married) called my mobile to say that the police had just informed her that they had forced an entry into our house.

Apparently a marketing company, based in Humberside, had made a routine cold call to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone.  The information they had been given led them to believe they were calling someone called Honey with my postal address. During the course of the call (recorded for training purposes), Mr Honey, if that was his name, claimed to be beating up his wife and, sure enough, there were audible slapping noises. The marketing company were sufficiently concerned to alert the Humberside police who, in turn, contacted Thames Valley Police. The police rushed to our house and, receiving no answer to the front door bell, promptly smashed their way in by shattering a large plate glass window in the front door and searching the empty house. 

Upon hearing this extraordinary news, we caught the first train home, arriving at 2245 in pouring rain. Lights were on all over the house and the front door was boarded up displaying a large notice from a 24 hour emergency glass company. There was no sign of any police. Unfortunately, their attempts to force the door had damaged the lock so our keys no longer worked.

I phoned the police to say we were back and couldn’t get into the house.  They told us to stay put and after about five minutes two police screeched up, presumably eager to make an arrest.  They reluctantly accepted that my wife was unharmed and that I wasn’t the violent man they were hoping to apprehend. They asked, however, for details of all the male members of our family convinced that they must be beating up their respective wives/girl friends.

The police were about to depart when I pointed out that we couldn’t get into our own house. One of them said he’d been trained in forcible entry and we had a discussion about what else to smash. The back door was chosen and the policeman’s eyes lit up when I offered to lend him a sledgehammer from my garden shed. Vibration from the first blow immediately shattered the glass. He was about to take a second swing when I suggested that, now the glass had been broken, he could reach in and undo the bolts by hand. ‘Oh, that’s a good idea, sir’ he said as if it was an original thought.

So, at last, well after midnight, we were in. The hall was a sorry sight with large shards of glass everywhere.

Meanwhile, the Thames Valley police tipped off the Metropolitan police who visited each of our sons in turn suspicious, now that their father had been cleared, that they must be the perpetrators of the alleged domestic violence.  One son and his fiancé received a visit at their London flat at 4am. Six Met police made him stand, face to the wall, with his hands behind his back!

The front and back doors have now been repaired – at my expense – and the police are trying to trace the person in Humberside to charge him with wasting police time.

So, come on whoever you are; give yourself up.

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