Monday, 11 October 2010

Res Ipsa loquitur

I have decided to paste my own comment on a post by 200 Days regarding the `radio phone-in fest` in the aftermath of the inquest into the shooting of the banzai barrister with the shotgun.
His post reminded me of a firearms incident exercise I was refereeing in the 90`s. It was to test the incident commander, then a chief inspector, now a chief constable in a very high profile position. The thing I remember most vividly is how he arrived at the scene and got out of his car, with an armful of in-force and Home Office manuals on major incidents and firearms operations. When guns are already smoking, it's little late to be thumbing through a load of books on what you're supposed to do.

"Man applies for a shotgun licence. Police check him out and issue licence. It requires, amongst other things, for him to be of sound mind and temperate habits.  Man becomes `alcoholic`. Family must know this. Amongst them are folks who know he has a shotgun and a drink problem. Any evidence that they notified the police out of concern for his safety, or that of the wider public? He goes on a drink/psycho bender. Pushes what luck, that he is too drunk and deranged to recognise, he has left. Puts lives in danger. Is stopped from doing so by lethal force from the police who, vicariously, issued his certificate in the first place. Only the police go on trial. Those who really could have stopped this peacefully, before it happened, are left with their conscience, their principles and their sense of right and wrong".

10 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Hogday, are you still under the delusion that, after 13+ years of soft-centred socialism, anyone still thinks they have any personal responsibility???

"I shouldn't have been allowed" is the best/worst excuse in the book!!

I haven't followed the debate about this particular suicide particularly closely, but I wonder whether Mr Dizaei's assistance in the matter has been commented upon?

Hogday said...

Blue: Yes, interestingly it was mentioned on a phone-in on The Jeremy " Daily Mail on Radio" Vine Show, that he came along to the scene, once again whilst off duty. Thereafter, my ears glazed over.

CI-Roller Dude said...

In most incidents where a citizen has gone crazy with a gun in the US, somebody knew about the person's problems before---but usually chose to do nothing.
I have been told many times: "I didn't want him to get in trouble."

Well, going crazy with a gun is more trouble than anybody ever wants to be in.

Hogday said...

CI-RD: Then it has to be human nature! And in the UK, you have to apply for a certificate to purchase and possess a shotgun and ammunition, must keep it in a steel locker when at home, cannot have a self-loader or a pump action with more than 3 rounds......

JuliaM said...

"The thing I remember most vividly is how he arrived at the scene and got out of his car, with an armful of in-force and Home Office manuals on major incidents and firearms operations. When guns are already smoking, it's little late to be thumbing through a load of books on what you're supposed to do."

That was the 90s.

Hmmm.

Is that, I wonder, when high-ranking officers started to be recruited as graduates, WITHOUT first having 'come up through the ranks'?

TonyF said...

"Is that, I wonder, when high-ranking officers started to be recruited as graduates, WITHOUT first having 'come up through the ranks'? "

Which is why some of the very best Officers were promoted in the field.

Hogday said...

JuliaM: The officer in question started at the bottom and worked his way up to the top.....and then in his 5th year of service......I jest, slightly, but you get the picture :-/
To be accurate, all graduate entries started as constables and completed their 2 years probationary training just like the rest, but it was the speed at which they skimmed through the ranks thereafter that is the moot point you wisely raise.

Oh and the `casualty`, in the exercise I mentioned, bled to death due to the delay in giving the order to mount an immediate action rescue, despite the necessary resources being good to go.

Hogday said...

TonyF: An excellent point. Many of my graduate entry seniors were empty uniforms (many were also superb managers, but they would have become that anyway).

allcoppedout said...

Nothing much to add Hog - your views are mine - not that I'm launching a claim to them!
I don't hold a shotgun licence because 'PTSD' effects me very severely from time to time and I can have anything from 10 minutes to 4 hours not knowing what I'm doing. I turned myself in some years back when the attacks started. God knows how I keep the cats at bay now!
I'd like to think we'd have got the woman and child next door out, or at least someone in with them.
The 'negotiators' were obvious jerks.
Donkey dross about the shotgun catch being in the open position is just that. The gun could have been lovingly fashioned from bars of soap and this wouldn't matter either.
Too much fuss over the case already. My questions are about why we get 100 guns to this one and leave poor families to be burned to death by psychopaths or terrorism by yobs.

Hogday said...

ACO: Thanks for a frank comment. The old phrase that I was taught by my 28 years service, ex WW2 RM Commando tutor when I arrived on the streets of London, seems to apply to your final sentence very nicely.... "It's always the simple jobs that go bent".
I hope to be moving house soon. Your situation is a bloody living nightmare and you have my utmost sympathy and good wishes, for what good that will do.