A MAN was arrested for having an ornamental pig in his garden after his policeman neighbour made a complaint.
Robin Demczak, 57, of Burford Road, Witney, said he was shocked when police officers entered his home and took him to the police station to question him about the 12-inch ornament.
The retired window fitter, who lives with his 86-year-old mother, Vera, was arrested on suspicion of harassment, and held for almost seven hours.
He was eventually released without charge.
Mr Demczak said: “I was just shocked when it happened. I kept thinking to myself ‘what is going on. Why am I being arrested?’ “I couldn’t believe it when they told me what they had arrested me for. I kept telling l them that the stone pig had been out there for years.”
The complaint against Mr Demczak was made by his neighbour, PC John Ablett.
Mr Demczak, a father-of-two, said he has been locked in a boundary dispute with PC Ablett for the past year over a footpath that divides their back gardens, which the policeman claims Mr Demczak has no right to use.
“We don’t get on very well,” said Mr Demczak.
Mr Demczak, who once kept as many as 40 pigs in a sty at the end of the garden, said he was freed after eventually managed to persuade police he was telling the truth.
He said: “I told them that I had had the pig for years before my neighbour had even moved into his house.
“I’ve got other stone ornaments of other animals, foxes, birds, things like that. Not just the pig.”
A complaint was also made about a sign on the shed, in which Mr Demczak used to keep his pigs, which reads “No Pigs”.
“I put that up after the last one died, it wasn’t a dig at anyone.”
Mr Demczak said when he had returned home, he had found his elderly disabled mother in a very distressed state.
He said: “She has diabetes, and I look after her. She was just left by herself and didn’t know what was going on.
“When I walked in, she was crying her eyes out wondering what had been going on.”
He said he was now speaking to his solicitor in regards to the incident and plans to file a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Thames Valley Police has confirmed the arrest was made in relation to a complaint received on Saturday, April 4.
A spokesman said: “The complaint was made by a Thames Valley Police officer, who as a resident of Witney is entitled to the same policing service as other residents in the area.
“Thames Valley Police has a duty to conduct all its investigations impartially. The case is still being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”