A FORMER special constable has been left with a £1,000 repair bill after Dorset Police officers smashed in her front door.

Cash-strapped Victoria Stevens, who has recently been made redundant, arrived back at her Poole flat following a week-long job-hunting trip in the London area.

She was dismayed to find her front door had been forced and her flat searched.

“At first I thought I’d been burgled,” said the 39-year-old former Dorset Police special.

“But then my neighbour told me it was the police.”

It later transpired the same neighbour called police the day Victoria left her flat, telling them he was fearful for her safety.

So officers understandably forced their way in.

Victoria, who through no fault of her own has been left holding the bill, said: “Maybe the police should have checked out my neighbour’s story a little more carefully before smashing my door down.

“All I did was go away for a few days, I cannot believe I’ll have to pay for this. I’ve left calls with the police but they’ve not got back to me so far.

“The annoying thing is I was working with Dorset Police up until a few weeks ago, they had all my contact details – all they had to do was call me if they were worried. They could have even broken the small side window, which costs just £30 to replace.

“The police say they’ve left the door secure, but a small child could easily push the lock off as it is.”

Officers were called to the address at 2.40pm on Monday, January 25, following reports from “a man expressing great concern for his neighbour’s well-being.”

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “This member of the public subsequently advised officers that his neighbour may have come to some harm and that he had seen what he believed could have been a motionless body in his neighbour’s flat.”