10:00am Wednesday 23rd May 2012
Exclusive By Hannah Williamson
A single mum and her young daughters have been left traumatised after armed police burst into their Croydon home in the middle of the night.
Charmaine Williams and her two daughters, Toni and Tori, aged nine and 18 months, were asleep in their Stanley Road home when officers armed with guns, tasers and riot shields broke down their front door just before 2am on Friday, May 18.
The officers were responding to an anonymous tip-off that a woman was being held at gun-point.
Mrs Williams, 47, said: "They kept shouting at Toni to move the curtains from the window, but she couldn't understand. She was too scared and was shaking, I had to say to her 'Toni move the curtain.'
"I asked them 'Why are you here?' and they said they were told a gun was on the premises.
"I said 'A gun are you sure this is the right address?'"
Toni, a pupil at Woodside Junior School, said: "They were shouting and talking so fast, we couldn't hear them properly. I nearly fainted, somebody told them a lie that we had a gun in our house.
"The police have done something wrong, they were supposed to knock on the door before they bang it down. I was so confused, I didn't know what was going on."
A spokesman for Croydon police said: "We were called at about 1.30am on May 18 to reports a woman was being assaulted by suspects armed with a firearm.
"Armed officers were deployed, and discovered a woman, along with her two children inside the address, although no suspects were found and the occupants had no knowledge of the reported incident."
He confirmed the original informant had not been identified and police were investigating.
Mrs Williams said she will be making a complaint to the IPCC.
She said: "No one told me why they came in my property, no one gave me a document, I just don't understand. If I had the money I would sue them.
"My daughter needs someone to talk to, she is bottling it up. I'm going to take her to the doctors to see if she can see a therapist.
"The little one she has started to shout, I don't know if its related but she shouts and then starts crying."
The police said they had since spoken to Miss Williams about the incident.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group