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6 Oct, 2021 15:23

Police staff issued misconduct notices over return of weapon to Plymouth gunman weeks before shooting spree

Police staff issued misconduct notices over return of weapon to Plymouth gunman weeks before shooting spree

Two staff members at Devon and Cornwall Police received misconduct notices after it was discovered that Plymouth man Jake Davison had his shotgun returned to him shortly before he went on a rampage in August that killed five.

The UK’s Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced on Wednesday that it had given a police officer a misconduct notice and another member of staff a gross misconduct notice after reviewing the details of how Davison obtained his weapon.

After receiving a shotgun license for sporting purposes in 2017, Davison’s weapon was taken away by police following an incident where he reportedly assaulted two youths in September 2020.

Police returned the weapon in July 2021, however, just one month before he shot and killed five people, including his mother and a three-year-old girl, during a rampage in Keyham, Plymouth on August 12. Davison took his own life soon after.

The IOPC explained that “the serving of such notices advises individuals that their conduct is subject to investigation, but does not mean that disciplinary proceedings will necessarily follow,” and revealed it was investigating Davison’s original 2017 license application in addition to the reasoning behind the return of his weapon weeks before the shootings.

In a statement, IOPC Regional Director David Ford said the investigation would be completed before the end of the year and that they would then “share any lessons that may be learned with the force and wider organisations as they emerge.”

“At the conclusion of our investigation, we will decide whether any individual has a disciplinary case to answer,” he concluded.

Davison had made misogynistic comments online before the attack and indicated in a video that he felt depressed and “beaten down.” He had also compared himself to a Terminator from the movie of the same name and complained about living with his mother.

Following the attack, the government announced it would introduce new guidelines for obtaining a gun license and called on police to investigate applicants’ social media posts as part of official background checks.

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