September 18th, 2009

And all because…

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Budget cuts must be hitting hard, Thames Valley Police have been keeping their bullets in Quality Street tins.

In the control room we have training days where the management make up a load of irrelevant cock & spoon feed us so they can say we’ve had some training. Often the people giving the talks are so bored they don’t actually turn up so someone from the training department bores us rigid by reading out their Powerpoint presentations. These are usually on subjects we have had several times before because nobody is imaginitive enough to find out what it is we actually need or want.

One of the regular talks we get is from the firearms department. It’s usually one of the less boring ones, not that we’ve not seen or heard it all before, but we actually get to leave the training room to go out into the car park for a look at all the gear the firearms cars have. We even get to hold a real gun. Fortunately, so far, the firearms officers who have given the presentations haven’t managed to shoot any of the controllers. Which can’t be said for PC David Micklethwaite, a police firearms instructor with Thames Valley, who thought the aforementioned Quality Street tin contained the force’s collection of blank bullets when it actually contained live bullets.

He then managed to point a 44 Magnum revolver at one of the lecturees & shot him through the body, fortunately the hapless victim survived but he probably won’t be taking any 999 calls anytime soon, if ever. Wasn’t the 44 Magnum ‘the most powerful handgun in the world’ capable of ‘blowing your head clean off‘ according to Harry Callaghan?

So let me get this right, a police firearms instructor, mistakenly loads a deadly weapon with live bullets he thinks are blanks, points the weapon at a member of the audience he is giving a demonstration to, and pulls the trigger? I’m no firearms expert, but in the worlds of my dear old gran, fer fucks sake!

The officer & force have admitted breaching health & safety regulations & will be sentenced in due course.

Meanwhile, next time I go to a training day & someone pulls out the chocolates, you won’t see me for dust.

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