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Blair's neighbours questioned at gunpoint

world Updated: Jul 22, 2007 15:05 IST

Neighbours of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's house at Connaught Square in London are furious after being quizzed at gunpoint by police outside their homes and have decided to lodge a complaint with the Home Office soon.

Officers from Scotland Yard's elite Diplomatic Protection Force assigned to guard the former Prime Minister openly carry guns while on duty outside his 3.6 million pound house and often question neighbours at gunpoint, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

"The police appear to be gun-happy and we feel it is only a matter of time before an innocent person gets shot. This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable," the daily quoted a neighbour without naming him. He said the residents' association would soon write to the Home Office to complain.

In the recent past, there were at least three incidents of neighbours being quizzed at gunpoint by Scotland Yard sleuths, which prompted the residents to convene an emergency meeting where they decided to lodge a complaint.

In one of the incidents, one of Blair's neighbours Dr Shella Arora was approached by a cop with his gun pointing at her while she was parking her car outside her apartment.

"He (the armed policeman) asked her what she was doing and the 72-year-old former general physician replied that she was parking her car. When Dr Arora got out, the cop asked her the purpose of her visit and she replied that she was a resident," another neighbour, who attend the association meeting where Dr Arora recounted the incident, was quoted.

On another occasion, a martial arts instructor who practices kick-boxing with his clients in the square's central garden was also questioned by police at gunpoint.

The former Prime Minister's spokesperson declined to comment while a Scotland Yard officer said, "We don't comment on security matters."