Police Raided A Guy's House Because He Posted A Picture Of A Toy Mortar On Facebook

The British police officers that raided Ian Driscoll's Tewkesbury home found the what they were looking for. They just didn't expect it to be plastic. Or a model.

"The Action Man looked a bit like me, so I decided to put it as my Facebook picture," Driscoll explained to the Daily Mail. "I didn't even notice the mortar in the background." But someone else did and promply reported him to authorities.

Not to be accused of being soft on gun crime, the police obtained a search warrant and sent officers round to Driscoll's home. Five vans-worth of police -- armed with real guns -- apparently without bothering to actually look at the photo. Otherwise, they'd probably have noticed that the mortar in question is just slightly larger than an action figure.

"It's tiny and quite clearly a toy. I can't stop laughing. I think it's hilarious," Driscoll said. The raiding officers were understandably chagrined at the mix-up but defend their response.

According to Gloucestershire police spokesman Alexa Collicott,

The information was given to us in good faith and we acted with good intentions. We are sure that the community would rather we acted quickly on information given to us of this nature, in case it had turned out to be a weapon. The officers attending were hugely relieved that it wasn't anything more sinister and we would much rather have a result like this than to put the public in harm's way by not taking action.

Or, you know, perform a bit of "police work" before sending in the brute squad.

[Daily Mail via CNet]

Image: Chris Matyszczyk / CNet


    Well, I cannot possibly chastise the cops at all for doing their duty. Good on them. However, one would simply say first... did the IDIOT who dobbed him in view the picture at all first? LOL

      I cant possibly? What? They went in with full force kicked this guys door down and held him at gun point. This could have went incredibly worse, if the guy freaked out they would have shot him with out hesitation. Complete and utter incompetence. If I was him I would sue the living shit out of them.

        you should read the article on the daily mail before jumping to conclusions, they didnt break his door down, they showed him the warrant and everybody had a laugh.

        there was also 5 officers, not 5 vans. maybe the writer of this article could, you know, perform a bit of "Journalism" before posting a story.

          you should read the article on the daily mail before jumping to conclusions
          That is one of the most bizarre sentences I have ever read.

        Next time try reading the actual article:

        ‘They flashed the search warrant in my face and said it was lucky I was in so they didn’t have to break my door down. Everyone has been laughing about it and I think it’s funny. It’s so stupid.

        None of what you said happened at all. They turned up, queried him, he explained. I'm sorry, what should they have done, taken a gamble and let a suspected weapon, a mortar no less, capable of inflicting mass injury if real, go on existing in the realm of the general public?

        "I would've sued" you're indicative of what's wrong with this world.

        Incidentally: @AndrewTarantola you really should correct your article. The original article only mentions there were five policemen. Two with submachine guns. It never states there were five van loads of policemen. That's quite the difference... 5 vs 25 - 30 cops potentially?

        Last edited 17/02/13 6:54 pm

          "...a suspected weapon, a mortar no less, capable of inflicting mass injury if real..." - except that it wasn't real and had no reasonable expectation of being real. The briefest of looks at the photo would have said to anyone that it isn't real.

          Sure they are 'doing their job' they are just terrible at it!

            Id much rather them take that.chance and check rather than gloss it over and let it slip. Theres always that one chance. Perspective.in photos is a hard thing to judge sometimes.

        Seems everyone is a little twitchy these days.

        Last edited 17/02/13 6:50 pm

        I have to agree, i mean c'mon they could easily of seen it was a freaking toy. i think they just want an excuse to kick in doors.

    You guys remember V for Vendetta and how the government strictly controls the population? Well.... here you go, what was once science fiction in 2006 is now fact in 2013.

      oh here we go, why don't you put on that mask thats copyrighted by the Time Warner Corporation and made in China.

      Thinking V for Vendetta is from 2006.
      Not 1980's.

    If he had a private facebook account the police couldnt see and they had information from a witness that he had a mortar I think their actions were justified. clearly it was pretty well handled once they worked out what was going on

    Those whinging about it would be the first to complain when they get mortared in the face. pansies

    They should have sent in G.I Joe!...He would have handed that figurine and his figurine dog his plastic ass to him!


    My first reaction was "why didn't the police first check the 'evidence'?" but then I wouldn't expect the police to hesitate if I called in and said "it looks like someone's breaking into my neighbour's house". I believe the police handled it well.

    Whoever looked at the photo also missed the fact that this guy has solved the "where is the remote control" problem by having one that's the same size as a human being ....

      ha ha and where do i get me a novelty sized PS2?

    2nd word in the story changed my expectations of the outcome entirely.

    Andrew Tarantola check your facts!
    "Five officers turned up in unmarked police cars" not "Five vans-worth of police".
    You blame the police for not "bothering to actually look at the photo", well how about you bother reading the article you're regurgitating.

    Why does Andrew Tarantola's profile go to Luke Hopewell? Is the writer of this article even a real person?


    ....Gizmodo ?....sack this idiot.

    Last edited 19/02/13 2:44 am

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