UK murder suspect had a gun seized and his license surrendered last month – .

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UK murder suspect had a gun seized and his license surrendered last month – .


LONDON – Britain’s police watchdog said it has opened an investigation into why a 22-year-old man who shot dead five people in southwest England on Thursday was returned his gun to fire and his gun license confiscated last month.

Police say Jake Davison killed his mother and four others, including a 3-year-old girl, before committing suicide in the port city of Plymouth. It was the first mass shooting in Britain in over a decade. Gun crimes are rare in Britain, which has strict gun control laws and regulations.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said on Friday evening it would investigate the Devon and Cornwall Police Department’s decision making regarding Davison’s possession of a shotgun and the license. The watchdog said it was not yet clear whether the shotgun returned to Davison was the same one he used in Thursday’s shooting.

Police took away the gun and certificate in December 2020 following an assault allegation three months earlier, the surveillance bureau said. They were sent back to Davison last month.

“We will examine what police action was taken and when, the rationale for police decision making and whether relevant law, policy and procedures were followed regarding Mr. Davison’s possession of a shotgun.” , regional office manager David Ford said in a statement. declaration.

“The investigation will also examine whether the force had information regarding Mr. Davison’s mental health and, if so, whether that information was taken into account appropriately,” Ford said.

Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil in Plymouth on Friday, near where the murders took place.

Police said on Friday the motive for the shooting was unclear, but there was no immediate sign that it was an act of terrorism or that Davison had links to extremist groups. .

They said Davison shot dead his 51-year-old mother, Maxine Davison, also known as Maxine Chapman, in a house before taking to the streets and killing 3-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father, Lee Martyn, 43 years.

According to the police timeline, Davison then killed Stephen Washington, 59, in a nearby park, before fatally shooting Kate Shepherd, 66, on a nearby street.

Two other people were injured.

Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Shaun Sawyer told reporters investigators believed the crimes started as ‘house related’ and ‘spilled over into the streets’. He said investigators were keeping an open mind but did not believe extremist ideology was behind the attack.

“Let’s see what’s on his hard drive, let’s see what’s on his computer, let’s see what’s on social media,” Sawyer said.

Davison seems to have shown interest in “incel” forums – short for “involuntary celibate” – on social media. The “incel” movement justifies violence against women as revenge for men who are rejected as sexual partners. The online subculture has been linked to deadly attacks in California, Toronto and Florida.

Davison posted online that while he wouldn’t describe himself as an ‘incel’ they are ‘people like me they had nothing but themselves and then they had social hardships “.

In a YouTube video posted at the end of July, he explained how he was “beaten and defeated by … life”. He spoke of struggling to stay motivated to lose weight and exercise, and working as a scaffolder at the age of 17 to 18. He spoke of the lack of a love life, referring to “people who are incels”.

The account was deleted and replaced with a notice saying it violated the site’s community guidelines.

The murders in Britain have raised the question of whether the authorities take “incel” ideology and extreme misogyny seriously enough.

Jonathan Hall, the UK government’s independent counterterrorism reviewer, said the question is “really whether or not the authorities want to treat the ‘incel’ phenomenon as a terrorist risk.”

“It would involve diverting resources or investing resources in them,” Hall told BBC radio on Saturday. “If we see more of these kinds of attacks, then I have no doubt that it will be treated more seriously as terrorism. “

Last year, Canada first charged an incel-related terrorism suspect, a Toronto teenager accused of killing a woman in a massage parlor. Police said they discovered evidence the attack was inspired by an online community of sexually frustrated men.

The last mass shooting in the UK dates back to 2010, when taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people in Cumbria, north west England.

Firearms are strictly controlled in Britain. People applying for a firearms license should be assessed by their local police department and show that they have a good reason for needing to use a firearm, like their job or for sport. The civilian use of certain firearms, including most handguns and semi-automatic rifles, is prohibited.

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