A POLICE chief has apologised to a pensioner who was sent the bill after a rapid response service boarded up his door which officers had bashed open after a misunderstanding.

Chief Inspector Gareth Morgan has assured David Barlow that the £204 invoice will be footed by the constabulary after a long back and forth, in which he was continually chased by contractors.

The 72-year-old is adamant officers told him at the scene on March 23 that West Mercia Police would pay but he claims RapidSecure said it was their understanding he would cover it.

This led to an investigation by the force's legal department as to whether he should be reimbursed, which Mr Barlow said he was told could take three months.

But in the meantime he could not afford the money upfront and the contractors were trying to set up a payment plan.

The pensioner's neighbours had been concerned on the day in question having not seen him all day before they called the police who gained entry.

Though he had actually been in London from early taking photos of an anti-Brexit march and arrived home to Barbourne around 9pm, with police still there.

Mr Barlow described the latest development as "wonderful" but said he hoped it would lead to the police resolving "systematic problems" so it didn't happen to anyone else.

"I don't know what kind of relationship break down this may have caused for the police and their contractors. There's something here that doesn't stack up. It's a routine and procedure that really needs spelling out."

After attempting to report the invoice, he said he was passed around to various people in the constabulary who were apparently unaware of the incident.

"They need to tighten up on their internal communication systems. That's what it reeks of. At least I am off the hook for two hundred-odd pounds," he added.

In an email to Mr Barlow on Thursday, Ch Insp Morgan said: "I have today instructed the boarding up company to send the invoice to West Mercia Police and I apologise for any distress that this may have caused you."

The chief inspector said he was happy his officers took the action in "good faith" to ensure "you had not come to harm" but accepted "you are an unfortunate victim of circumstance".