- at best- and how much is deliberate harassment?
Shooting groups are reporting a growing number of cases where officers in armed response vehicles and helicopters are swooping on people who are legally shooting.
In many cases, the shooters are arrested and have had their guns seized. They are sometimes locked up and have their DNA taken, before police accept their error.
'Accept their error' or 'decide they've caused all the trouble they can get away with'?
The problem has become so great, that the field sports' bible, Shooting Times, has launched an initiative – called the Campaign for Common Sense – to urge police to improve their dealings with field sports enthusiasts. The publication has also submitted a dossier detailing its complaints and proposals to a recent consultation by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) on police firearm use.
The magazine's news editor, Selena Masson, said: "The police response is completely out of sync with what is actually going on. They send helicopters and up to half a dozen police vehicles, at astronomical cost to the taxpayer. They manhandle shooters, throw them in the cells and take DNA fingerprints, despite the fact that these people have permission and all the relevant documentation."
It's all that 'relevant documentation' that makes me consider this may be deliberate; there's no bleeping way the cops over there could not simply check that someone has their arms legally instead of going through all this crap. And it fits the pattern in Britain over the past years of making it as difficult and- in this case dangerous- as possible for someone to own arms.
And the official response so far?
Richard Crompton, chief constable of Lincolnshire Police and lead for Rural Affairs for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "Considering the popularity of shooting in the countryside, complaints of this nature are extremely rare. We have a very good relationship with the BASC but this issue has never been raised with us. I would be more than happy to discuss any concerns they have."
'this issue has never been raised'. Uh huh. Sure. You never heard anything about it until the media asked. Really.
Bullcrap. If this has been as big a problem as the information indicates, for you to have never heard of it- especially in an area where shooting is that popular- means you're either completely unaware of what's happening in your district, or- well, no other explanation. Unless you're lying, that is. And based on what's been happening in Britain, I have to seriously consider that this may be deliberate on the part of the police, and that you are a liar.
Yeah, I'm just about out of 'trust us' anymore.
Found thanks to Theo