A POLICE officer went through the ceiling of a flat during a botched armed raid.

Officers arrived at a property in Roach Vale, Colchester, looking for the occupier’s former partner who is wanted.

When they arrived, they asked the woman and her two-year-old daughter to go outside, before conducting the search.

But at some stage during the operation, an officer went through the ceiling.

Fortunately, he is not believed to have been taken to hospital.

The woman, 24, was put into a police car with her daughter.

She said: “I heard these clanking noises outside my front door so I went to the spyhole and I could see people wearing helmets.

“They said it was armed police and I opened the door and had a green light pointed at me.

“I was told I had been threatened and they thought my ex-partner was at the property.

“I was told to leave and went outside with my daughter."

Officers eventually let her back into the house but had made no effort to clean up and pointed out that an officer had fallen through the ceiling.

The woman added: “Eventually they came back and told me there had been some damage.

“The officer that had been in my loft fell through the ceiling.

“The damage has been reported to the council and I don’t know if they will pay or if I will be charged.

“There was plasterboard everywhere, my bed had been thrown around and some of my daughter’s toys had been broken.

“I have no idea why they would have needed to look in the toy box - it is tiny.”

The woman said the street was filled with police officers.

“There was more than ten police officers - I think between 15 and 18,” she said.

“Several cars were parked outside and it was really chaotic.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We were contacted shortly after 7.20pm on Monday with concerns for the safety of a person at an address on Roach Vale in Colchester.

"Officers attended the address to ensure the safety of the occupants and carried out a search for a man at the premises.

"During the search, which took less than an hour, the occupants were accommodated in a police vehicle to make sure they were kept as comfortable and warm as possible.

"While searching the address to ensure the victim was not at risk of harm, unfortunately damage was accidently caused to the loft.

"Essex Police have liaised with Colchester Council to ensure the damage is repaired as soon as possible.   

"No further reports of damage have been reported to us.

"A search continued for the man in the area, with assistance from the police helicopter.

"No arrests have been made."