December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 20, 2013
Up to a dozen police vehicles were sent to tackle an “aggressive” one-legged man in a wheelchair, sparking criticism.
Paul Lunn, of Portland Court, Great Yarmouth, said he felt “victimised” by the response last Wednesday, and that it was “excessive”.
The 56-year-old lost his left leg last year, and is anxious that modifications to his council flat are completed before an operation to remove his remaining leg - before Christmas.
While he admits he has been confrontational when speaking to borough council housing officers, he said this was down to the cocktail of medications he is taking and his frustration at red tape.
Two police officers attended his flat on the evening of September 11, the day after he was “abusive” to a council officer.
The former security guard said police did not have a warrant, and adopted an “aggressive” manner toward him.
He added he asked them to leave, and when they refused the situation escalated.
Mr Lunn claims the pair began going through the rooms in his flat without permission and he panicked.
“I barricaded myself in the front room,” he said. “I put my wheelchair across the door.
“I heard them go outside, gave it five minutes then had a look.”
He alleges that four riot vans, eight squad cars and up to 20 officers were outside.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “There must have been more police round here than at Yarmouth police station.”
Mr Lunn added: “Sending that many police for one man in a wheelchair with one leg is excessive.
“When I worked the doors we only had one or two turn up when there was trouble.
“I felt very victimised.”
Mr Lunn had the toes of his left foot removed in 2005 due to a condition related to his diabetes.
His left leg was amputated in July 2012, and he is scheduled to have his remaining leg amputated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospial in the next three months.
Modifications including a bathroom with handrails have already been added to his flat, but he said his wheelchair catches on the door frames and he would like them to be removed.
“I want to try to get it sorted out before I go in hospital because I’m definitely losing my leg,” he added. “I’m getting so uptight and depressed about it.”
He said he has been pursuing the matter for more than a month.
A Norfolk police spokesman confirmed officers attended the flat as “part of an ongoing investigation”.
“Officers became concerned for the safety of a man and additional officers were sent to the property,” the spokesman added. “A call was also received from a neighbour reporting a disturbance.
“The matter was quickly resolved and the officers left a short time later.”
A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it was not appropriate to comment on individual cases.
“However, we take care to assess and understand the needs of people who ask for a move and when an offer is made, work with them to make sure the property meets their needs, carrying out adaptations where appropriate,” the spokesman continued. “For major structural adaptations we would firstly request an assessment from Norfolk County Council’s adult social services department to ensure that we fully understand a tenant’s needs and how they can best be met.”