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Police spent four hours watching Netflix and using missing woman’s dumbbells in her home

A woman was shocked to return from having a mental health crisis to find police had spent several hours inside her home watching Netflix and ‘chilling’.

A search party had been looking for Abbygail Lawton, 21, in Wigan with a police helicopter and drone after concerns for her welfare on January 3.

She was missing for 11 hours before being found by two police officers, and she spent the night in a cell after being ‘arrested for wasting police time’.

When the mum-of-one returned home the next day and checked her CCTV, she claims two officers had spent four hours in her home ‘mocking’ her.

Abbygail told MailOnline: ‘When she left the address the two male officers came in and turned on Netflix on my TV, making comments about what I had watched.

‘They made comments that I’d watched the Boy in Striped Pyjamas – which I had previously – and another series I’d watched.

‘Then they say “we could so with watching something like Come Dine With Me” before the other officer sees Dog’s Behaving Badly and starts saying how “it’s quite good”.

‘They then choose something on Netflix and start watching TV. One of the officers then gets my dumbbell and starts doing weights, which you can see in the footage, before sitting back down.’

She claimed one officer even looked directly into the camera and said: ‘Hello Abbygail, I know you’re watching us.’

The mum said the two police started watching TV because another female officer told them ‘you might as well chill here in case she comes back’ after carrying out the search of the house.

CCTV also appeared to capture officers climbing along her wall instead of using the unlocked gate to enter her home.

Abbygail made a complaint to Greater Manchester Police, saying her privacy was breached. She also claims she was wrongly arrested as she was having a mental health crisis.

She added: ‘I’m disappointed and ashamed by the two officers sitting watching TV, the comments that they made and how they acted at my property. I’ve not given them consent to be in my house or watch TV or use my gym equipment.

‘It was as though they were mocking me and taking the mick while I was out in the woods in a crisis, the weather was awful that day, raining and cold, I was clearly having a mental health crisis and they were just sat here watching TV as if to say, “F**k it, we don’t care if she’s missing.”‘

Following an investigation, the force determined the behaviour of the two officers did not breach the standards of professional behaviour, but they should reflect on and learn from the complaint.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Greater Manchester is a busy jurisdiction and there is always a 999 call to respond to so it’s understandable that the publication of these CCTV images without explanation could undermine public trust and confidence.

‘What the CCTV leaves unsaid is that the officers’ attendance at the property over a prolonged period of time had been agreed with those leading the operation to ensure that the female was safeguarded should she return to the property, as she had indicated she was trying to.

‘The officers have been spoken to and understand that, whilst the television had been left on and dumbbells left out, they should have refrained from watching it or using them whilst they were deployed to the location.’

Abbygail remains in contact with the police and may request a review of the outcome if she chooses to.

Credit: metro.


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