Security cameras at a London art gallery recorded police breaking through a glass door to investigate a "person" in distress that turned out to be a dummy.

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A London police spokesman confirmed officers and paramedics responded to a witness report of a suspected corpse just inside the glass doors at The Factory art gallery in Dalston.

The security camera footage shows police reaching the supposed person and discovering it was a mannequin.

"Officers and LAS attended the scene. Officers were required to force entry inside," a spokesman told the London Evening Standard. "Upon inspection, the person turned out to be a figurine constructed from clothing and wires and was part of an art installation."

Kollier Din Bangura, 36, said the dummy was part of his solo exhibition about the experiences of refugees in Britain.

"I have used the same dummy before in other shows but this is the first time it's caused police to be called. When I came to the studio and saw the smashed glass, I immediately thought it had been vandalized. But the police left a note behind explaining what happened," Din Bangura said.

The note reads: "Police forced entry by smashing the window due to getting calls from members of the public regarding a dead body inside the building. If you have any issues please write to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police."

"There were posters on each door showing it was an art exhibition. I just wish they had looked at them and contacted the building's owner before smashing through the door," Din Bangura said.

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Police in Wednesfield, England, found themselves in a similar situation last week when they responded to a report of a bloody hand floating in a canal. They discovered the item was actually a plastic hand painted to appear bloody.