Guns being seized by police at 'deeply troubling' rate after Plymouth shootings
Date of alert:
Wednesday, 23 March 2022
Devon & Cornwall Police
Figures show the number of guns seized to be over nine times higher than the force’s 10-year average rate following the shootings in Keyham last summer.
A crackdown on gun ownership in Devon and Cornwall in the wake of the mass shootings in Plymouth has resulted in a nine-fold increase in the number of firearms seized, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. Police yesterday declined to comment on the specific revelation, uncovered by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Britain’s biggest shooting organisation.
The BASC has asked Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez to investigate the increase in the revocation of firearms and shotgun licences. The pro-shooting group says it is “deeply troubling” and a potentially disproportionate response to the Keyham shootings last August in which five people died.
Killer Jake Davison had his pump-action shotgun returned to him by police shortly before the shootings. The gun had been taken away and his licence revoked after a public order incident. The decision to return it is the subject of an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement that it had asked Durham Constabulary to independently peer review firearms licensing procedures in both the Devon and Cornwall and Dorset forces in the immediate aftermath of the shootings. It said it wanted to “quickly identify” if there were any potential public safety issues that the force needed to examine in more detail.
Firearms licensing is managed as an alliance function across both Devon and Cornwall, and Dorset. The statement continued: “This review has now been received and has been shared with the Chief Constables of both Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police, the Police and Crime Commissioners for Devon & Cornwall and Dorset, HM coroner and the IOPC.