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Held at gun point


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Recently I was out pigeon shooting on a block of winter barley that had been cut a few days earlier. At lunch time I popped into my car to go and get some supplies, leaving my buddy with my S2 shotgun on loan. I took my dog and S1 .223” with me in the boot, but left everything else. As I was heading out of the field gate I was intercepted by fully battle ready, heavily armed police officers. Their guns were up aimed directly at me, from a close enough range I could see their painted finger nails on the triggers (some wore gloves, some didn’t). I wasn’t panicked as I knew it was an error but I was annoyed by the excessive and inappropriate use of force. They were screaming like banshees, with Heckler & Koch G36C carbines being thrust in my face. They wanted me to keep my hands up and get out of the car. I explained to her that as I was wearing a seat belt that wasn’t possible. I thought there was nothing more grating that the sound of women screeching, or women nagging you to do something that can’t be done, but it turns out that a screeching woman giving you orders that can’t be complied with whilst pointing a chambered 5.56mm wily nily in your face trumps the lot.

I explained that I was wearing a cartridge belt but unarmed. Anyway once common sense emerged I was allowed out of the car. I thought this would calm the situation as I was in a field of spring wheat, (adjacent block to what I was shooting) and wearing shorts, crocs, polo shirt, green waistcoat, flat cap 🤣 but they still wanted to treat this as a terrorist training exercise. You could see that the police lady (the one with a spray tan) had the post-adrenaline jitters and was stuck in panic mode. More and more officers turned up, filing out in pairs of I believe four armed response cars. I kept calm to avoid escalating the situation despite my annoyance at staring down a barrel, as they explained why they were detaining me I noticed the side arms... combat knife, Glock pistol and a grenade launcher for baton rounds. They were sweating in their full combat gear, helmets, goggles, full body armour. Once again having friendly dog defused the madness, I said “listen, my dog is in the boot and it’s a hot day... please can we get her out?”  This worked a treat and as soon as everyone could pet the dog their guns were lowered and proper adult conversion could take place. 

An armed older female officer took charge and was very sensible in a headmistress sort of way. I explained what I was doing and able to provide references etc. The other officers swooped upon my friend but by that point had decided to behave a bit more reasonably. I ‘mansplained’ to the headmistressly lady officer that you do not point a gun at anything you do not intend to kill, and that on my shoot I would ban anyone who muzzled anyone with a loaded or unloaded gun. My conclusion being that their initial reaction was disproportionate considering the report was of a man shooting pigeons in a field in a rural area of England and the likelihood of it being a terrorist incident was infinitesimally small. The first officer on scene interjected as she could see my implication was regarding her behaviour. She said it was a proportionate response as I was in a vehicle and was attempting to evade them, which had ‘escalated’ the incident. (The car was in a muddy field, about to turn slowly onto a three yard wide single carriage way in a low density area.) I could sense it was too soon for reflective learning and so just let it be. All guns were fully checked, I was able to range the boundaries to show the hide was over 200m from any other use etc. They spoke to the landowner and it transpired it was a nuisance call from a local resident he is in dispute with regarding noise complaints. A couple of male officers turned up and were very sensible. We were able to carry on shooting.

I couldn’t resist asking them if it had been a quiet day. 

I have withheld the county and the date in order to protect their identities without the opportunity for them to respond. I do not wish to make a formal complaint as this could jeopardise my future dealings with that  police force. 

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Edited by WalkedUp
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I asked (knowing the answer) if any of them shot outside of work. None of the 5 girls did. Two of the men did, the ones that didn’t point a gun in my face.

It wasn’t a bad day, just a waste of their resource. We shot a lot of pigeons and then cooked food on a campfire and went lamping before camping over night. 

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BASC have been working with various Police Forces to try and limit this sort of response, but also in an effort to educate Police  Officers as to what shooters are likely to be doing in the field.

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Eloquently put. I would not complain either, however it seems there could be some valuable learning opportunity's from a well worded "letter of thanks" to the constabulary. I agree, that common sense doesn't seem to exist anymore. 

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You would think the first thing the police would do in this circumstance would be a Google map search, the complaint is about a field, near a wood, in the countryside,  send one car to have a look.

If its in the middle of town or an industrial estate then send a couple of cars.

We see armed police every day around work, thankfully they are all nice and calm going about their business. 

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Playing devils advocate 

repsonding to a call of a armed man and your in the car where they can’t see your hands  they are going to be pointing rifles at you as they have split seconds to react if it transpires you are a bad guy. 
 

also never point a weapon at something you don’t intend to kill is not valid in these situations as for all they know they may have to kill depending on what transpires and it may well save there lives 

 

As you say it’s a scary thing but the situation de escalated as it went on as it should have  

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We get the police on the farm a lot, they use the woods for training dogs, search and rescue and whatever it is they get up to. Seen lots of them as I'm walking around with either the shot gun or air rifle and not once has anyone enquired about my reason for being here. We also have 2 shoots that use various parts of the farm so you can imagine the number of guns around. We've just started getting HS2 security driving around and I think I might have startled the 2 chaps in the pick up as I exited a field with the black semi auto as they arrived at the gate.  Oh we laughed..

Think if they got a report of armed persons in a field around here the lads would just have a giggle.

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As an ex Tactrical Firearms officer this sort of report mkes my blood boil.  Total over reaction and poor training.  BUT in my day we would have had a local officer living on the area who knew you and anyone else using or shooting on the ground, who could have sorted the incident in seconds over the phone. What a waste of time and resources.

Embarrasing.

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Scary stuff , never had that happen and that could well put me off shooting in that area , only ever had one visit from a single policeman who had a complaint from a lady who kept horses and said my shooting was worrying her horses , when the officer turned up ,( who we partly knew ) said I was well within the law and he estimated I was 250 / 300 yds away and there was no danger to anyone or the horses and told me to carry on .

A good reminder is to make sure you have a copy of your s g c either on you or at least in your motor as they will ask for it and check out the gun you are using .

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so far these hyper screaming lunatics have only tazered the neighbourhood police liaison chap by mistake costing tax payers large amount of comp but only matter of time before they cause real disaster wouldn’t give them water pistols let alone firearms 

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22 minutes ago, clangerman said:

so far these hyper screaming lunatics have only tazered the neighbourhood police liaison chap by mistake costing tax payers large amount of comp but only matter of time before they cause real disaster wouldn’t give them water pistols let alone firearms 

What happens if they shout and scream at some one who is deaf 😱

Do they shoot them, then say "they did not do what I said" ?

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Hi it is scary stuff. And it has stopped people shooting in the  area. I’ve had local police and armed police come out to me. When someone reports someone with firearms the firearms police will come out it’s their job. I find when people see police with guns come out and shooting continues and no one is taken away in a Black Maria like it or not it’s legal and they keep away. Some fields may not be shot for a years depending on the crop then one day hundreds of pigeons will be shot . People go on the Facebook have a moan and then someone calls the police. The person who called the police will be told of the outcome and maybe told off at the same time. 

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We are often told that the police have to respond to reports of "a man with a gun". Could someone who is ex-job explain why this should be when nothing illegal is happening.

If you drove through rural Norfolk on the right winter morning and called in whenever you saw "a man with a gun" there would be a lot to do ! Not sure that HM, Lord Leicester etc. would be too happy.

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12 hours ago, Walker570 said:

As an ex Tactrical Firearms officer this sort of report mkes my blood boil.  Total over reaction and poor training.  BUT in my day we would have had a local officer living on the area who knew you and anyone else using or shooting on the ground, who could have sorted the incident in seconds over the phone. What a waste of time and resources.

Embarrasing.

Sorry I have to disagree, I too have been there, done that etc. etc.  BUT times are different now. In our day it is likely that we would have had to make back to the armoury to draw weapons in the first place. That all changed AFTER Hungerford. But today's Police Officer expects to be assaulted one way or another on average once a month. In ANY Police incident, you have to take control of the situation as soon as possible to try and avoid escalation. At the time that I was carrying a gun, it was during the IRA bombing campaign in England, we still had to return to the armoury to draw weapons AFTER the incident had occurred, AND it did. I was involved in an armed raid on an IRA cell in a highly built up and populated area which resulted in a Bobby being shot. Due entirely to our lack of training and equipment and, dare I say, leadership. With today's training (which is really military based) and level of equipment, including the necessary body armour, today's Police Officer has to expect to be facing a gun or knife at EVERY armed response they attend. They therefore have to take control immediately until they know what they are dealing with. Having a chat through a partially open car window is NOT an option. REMEMBER each of the major shooting incidents that have taken place, have unfortunately, involved legally held firearms. There are far more mentally disturbed people loose on our streets than ever before and it is not beyond the realms of possibility, that they have access to firearms. As such, I believe today's Police Officers have a job that I am thankful to be out of. Yes, I carried a gun on our streets, stood behind a riot shield in the Liverpool riots and suffered the occasional assault, but NEVER to the degree of hatred shown towards today's Bobby's. I went to the aid of a shop assistant being assaulted by a female shoplifter (at the age of 75 I should have known better). I got stuck in the hand with a hyperdermic needle. That followed 6 months of hospital blood tests for me. The threat of violence is far more prevalent today than ever before and the Police will act accordingly.  I shot for 40 plus years on the urban fringe of Liverpool and only had Police attend once. I would ALWAYS inform the local control room of my intention to shoot and where, creating a log and getting a log number. Saved a lot of hassle  !

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28 minutes ago, London Best said:

Tried the “call the local control room” method for one whole winter when lamping foxes.

Without exception they sent a car out to investigate every time,

THAT is what happens when you take Bobbies out of the control rooms  !

🙄

30 minutes ago, London Best said:

Tried the “call the local control room” method for one whole winter when lamping foxes.

Without exception they sent a car out to investigate every time,

Having said that, it was not armed response  ?

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