September 25th, 2009

…the lady loves Milk Tray

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I blogged about the case of the wayward firearms instructor last week. Well the sentence has been sorted & Chad Valley Police must pay a £40,000 fine plus £25,000 legal costs for breaches of health & safety after one of their instructors accidentally shot a control room civilian during a demonstration  on firearms. The officer himself must pay an £8,000 fine plus £8,000 costs.

There are those who say the officer was lucky not to have gotten a criminal charge. Plaxico Burress, the New York Giants American Footballer, started a two-year jail term for shooting himself in the leg as he tripped whilst climbing stairs in a New York Nightclub, OK, so the gun was unlicenced but as well as the charge for illegal possession, he was also done for wreckless endangerment. Oh, and it was in America.

The fine the force got is technically a fine of the good people of  the Thames Valley area since they are the people giving TVP the cash to pay the fine in the first place. They’ll probably have to make someone redundent in order to pay the fine. Some might say the instructor might be a good start, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

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6 comments

  1. Fee says:

    I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when senior officers heard about that one!

    “One of our firearms instructors has done what?????”

    September 26th, 2009 at 11:02

  2. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I always thought that anyone who volunteers for the firearms unit should automatically be excluded from joining.

    Guns can be exotic and intoxicating, they can turn the head of most sane people, in a testosterone fuelled, competitive environment. I`m afraid the ‘we`re highly trained professionals’ bit doesn`t prevent the macho stuff.

    The reality, that a gun just hurls a lump of metal at high speed, spoils the fun and illusion.

    We enjoy the chance to show other people what we do for a living, and how good we are at it (by the way), how it isn`t as easy as you might think – therefore I`m a lot cleverer and more highly skilled than you. And only those not in the ‘club’ call them ‘guns’.

    Which all goes to create a cocktail of complacency in which live and blank ammunition is stored in the same sweety tin and isn`t inspected properly before being chambered and pointed at someone.

    Because I`m so good at my job, I`m so skilled and experienced, the normal rules don`t apply to me any more. And I`ve got a certificate and photo of me and the Chief shaking hands to prove it.

    The one rule to remember about driving a car? Look where you are going. The one rule to remember about guns…

    Seriously though, I`m sorry for the shooter, he`s not likely to be able to put things right for a long while, the injured chap has got a bunch of new hassles to go along with those he was already juggling.

    And their ACPO types will be all over the firearms unit with their ‘It must never happen again’ bombardment of new policies, procedures, tick-boxes, inspections, rules, training courses ad infinitum.

    That`s the real tragedy, trained professionals everywhere being treated like kids because someone has decided that there is no such thing as an ‘accident’.

    September 26th, 2009 at 11:56

  3. MRS MOP says:

    Yet another incompetent moron who has successfully managed to further damage the ever diminishing reputation of the police for which the public ultimately pay the price. In the real world he would be sacked without question and prosecuted but then this is not reality its the farsical, fantasy world of policing where no one is sufficiently held to account and anything goes.

    September 26th, 2009 at 13:33

  4. 200 says:

    Mrs Mop,

    three things… firstly he hasn’t been dealt with yet under internal discipline procedure as they always wait until after the court case before dealing with discipline so you might be a bit previous.

    Secondly, if he’s damaged the reputation of the force then that’s your fault/perception for stereotyping his actions as that of the rest of the officers in TVPOL. Surely, a dispassionate view would be that his actions are *his* actions and not those of ‘the police’.

    thirdly, I suspect all the officers who have lost their jobs, been fined/sentenced/imprisoned for various misdemeanours might disagree with your assertion that anything goes & nobody is held to account.

    September 26th, 2009 at 20:05

  5. justaguy says:

    The ‘instructor’ is an idiot. You never point a gun, loaded or otherwise, at someone unless you intend to kill them.
    Whoever supervised the facility is an idiot. Mixing live and blank ammunition in a Kwality Street tin is an accident waiting to happen.

    If heads do not roll then the CC should resign or be fired.

    September 27th, 2009 at 14:08

  6. Hogday says:

    Civ in the City:- Good points, very good points. I was always far more sceptical about the officer who was busting to join the firearms unit. Any subsequent interview with said eager beaver would reflect my feelings, which closely mirrored those you committed to comment, above. Previous military experience, member of a pistol club or vast knowledge of firearms would tick none of my boxes. My opening response to a potential volunteer would be, “So why do you want to join a unit where you could end up using lethal force on someone and, even if you were totally justified at the time, you and your actions will spend months, or even years, under minute scrutiny from specialist lawyers and even your colleagues and members of your own family may turn against you”? There is actually a very good answer to that question, but you won’t see me print it in public.

    September 28th, 2009 at 08:29

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