Worcester Evening News
Friday May 12th 2006
By Kate Moss
An animal rights campaigner has spoken of her shock after police smashed through her door and arrested her.
Pauline Burgess, of Malvern Link, said she was lying in bed on Tuesday when she was startled by a loud bang.
“I was in my bed and heard a crash and officers ran in and grabbed me by the arms,” said the 50 year old life model. She said an officer, accompanied by a woman in plain clothes, flashed a search warrant in front of her.
Miss Burgess said she was more concerned for her rabbit’s safety than her own ordeal. She was terrified her pet rabbit was going to escape because the officers left the front door open.
“I was hysterical about my rabbit,” she said. “I was so distressed that in the end they let me catch her with the handcuffs on.”
She said the officers took campaigning posters and leaflets.
“It is unbelievable,” she said. “If they had knocked on my door I would have been happy for them to search my house – I’ve nothing to hide. I feel terribly devastated.” She said when she asked what the police were doing there, she was told she was a public nuisance.
Miss Burgess said she was detained at Worcester police station for 12 hours.
She said she peacefully demonstrates against any kind of animal cruelty, especially against the live exportation of calves.
A police spokesman said: West Mercia Constabulary has arrested 11 people in connection with offences relating to animal rights extremist activities. “A pre-planned operation was carried out to investigate alleged offences committed under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
“The operation involved 120 West Mercia officers assisted by other national police agencies. “The arrests were made at a number off addresses in the Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire and West Midlands areas.
“A large number of items were seized during extensive searches conducted throughout the two day operation.
“All 11 people arrested have been released on police bail while enquiries continue. Files will be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in due course.”