POLICE who smashed their way into a Farnborough house have been accused by the owner of trying to cop out of paying the full cost of a new front door.
John Young, who spent £800 replacing the wrecked door, was shocked when the Hampshire force offered him only £390 compensation.
He has been battling with the police since the beginning of the year to be paid the full amount, but without success.
Mr Young, a 49-year-old meter reader, said: "It's like hitting your head against a brick wall. I've got nowhere.
"I've got no argument with them breaking into my home, because it was done with the best of intentions, but I think they should pay the full amount for the door."
His nightmare began when a well-meaning friend, unaware that he was on a week's holiday in Macclesfield, thought he had collapsed in his home.
The friend alerted the police who broke into Mr Young's home in Park Road, Farnborough, by smashing a glass panel in the bottom of his front door.
He arrived home from holiday at 11pm to find he couldn't get into his house because the door lock had been broken and jammed by the officers.
After spending the night sleeping in his car, he went to the police station and was told the officer involved would contact him.
Mr Young returned home, removed the board covering the broken glass panel, and crawled into his house through the hole.
"The officer concerned didn't get back to me," he said. "I kept ringing the station and was always told he wasn't in."
As the days passed, and with the door still jammed, he had to answer callers to his home by lying flat out and poking his head through the bottom panel.
It was also the only way he had of getting in and out of his terraced house.
Mr Young said he was unhappy at the way the whole affair had been handled by the police.
"They didn't leave a name or contact number in my house after breaking in," he said. "I've had to do all the chasing to try to get the matter resolved."
He has written to the Chief Constable complaining about the level of compensation for the door, and has been told his complaint has been passed to a Sergeant to deal with.
Mr Young could face a long wait to hear anything, because when the Star asked Hampshire police to comment no-one seemed to know anything about the affair.
Constabulary press officer Susan Rolling made several inquiries on the paper's behalf. She said: "I'm afraid I've drawn a blank."