Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Plymouth shootings: Police worker faces misconduct proceedings

A member of police staff has been issued with a gross misconduct notice over their handling of Plymouth gunman Jake Davison’s application for a shotgun certificate.

Davison shot and killed five people in Keyham, Plymouth, on 12 August.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the certificate was returned to Davison weeks before the killings.

A second person – a police officer – has received a misconduct notice.

The misconduct notice relates to the handling of two assaults in 2020 admitted by Davison.

Maxine Davison, 51, Stephen Washington, 59, Kate Shepherd, 66, Lee Martyn, 43 and three-year-old Sophie Martyn, were all killed by Davison before he turned the gun on himself.

The IOPC is investigating how the apprentice crane operator was originally granted a shotgun certificate in 2017 by Devon and Cornwall Police.

The watchdog is also examining how Davison was handed back the weapon and certificate weeks before the shooting – having been seized after admitting the two assaults on youths in a park in September 2020.

Davison was placed on a voluntary intervention programme following the assaults – an alternative to being charged or cautioned.

His shotgun and licence were not seized for another three months until concerns were raised directly with the police by a member of staff working on the intervention programme.

In July, Davison was given back his shotgun, which he used for clay pigeon shooting, and his certificate.

The IOPC said it was investigating whether the police officer “shared information appropriately with the force Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department” regarding the violent offences, and whether they “took appropriate steps to seize the shotgun certificate, shotgun, and ammunition”.

The watchdog said “the serving of such notices advises individuals that their conduct is subject to investigation, but does not mean that disciplinary proceedings will necessarily follow”.

It added that it hoped to complete its investigation into Devon and Cornwall Police’s decision-making in relation to Davison’s possession of a shotgun and shotgun certificate, by the end of the year.

David Ford, IOPC regional director, said his organisation was reviewing “a substantial amount of information gathered from Devon and Cornwall Police and elsewhere”.

He said: “Based on the evidence gathered so far, we have now served disciplinary notices on two individuals within the force to advise them their conduct is subject to investigation.”

Devon and Cornwall Police Assistant Chief Constable Jim Nye said the force was “fully cooperating” with the investigation.

He said: “We acknowledge that the IOPC has served a police officer with a misconduct notice and a staff member with a gross misconduct notice, in relation to their involvement with Jake Davison.

“The force is supporting our staff through this process.”

Source: (BBC News)