Saturday, June 05, 2010


It seems that local knowledge of the back roads helped Derrick Bird, the taxi driver who killed twelve people in Cumbria, avoid the armed police who were trailing him.

This was brought home to us yesterday when we took a minor road, that we traveled many times when we lived in the countryside north of Exeter.
Most locals would know this route, but if police were allocated from other areas they might not be familiar with this minor road.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - That's an interesting point about local roads. I continue to be so shocked and saddened by these senseless killings. My thoughts and wishes go out to the families. How horrible.... just horrible...

9:06 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Margot, this was indeed a terrible tragedy and luckily such horrible events because of our strict gun laws are very rare in the UK.

During my career I was asked on a few occasions to be a counter signatory on a gun licence. In one case I claimed I did not qualify as a "person of similar standing" as I did not want my name associated with someone that I was concerned should not have a firearm. Interestingly the only licences I can remember countersigning were for serving policemen. They received free dental treatment and visited me more often than their doctors usually, and therefore I was their first port of call because of the restrictions below.

"The next important bit of the form has to filled in by a counter signatory who has known you personally for at least two years. Such a person cannot be a relative, a serving policeman or police civilian employee, or a registered firearms dealer, and according to the wording should be:

"...a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, doctor, lawyer, established civil servant, bank officer, or person of similar standing."

"Most police forces give a sensibly liberal interpretation to 'person of similar standing', and accept most people known and respected in the community. If you have any doubt about the validity of your chosen person, just ring up the firearms department at your local police headquarters and ask."

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - Thanks for the information on gun ownership. I had no idea of how that works in the U.K., and I find it interesting to learn about it. I don't blame you for having been extremely cautious about counter-signing for a gun. I would not want that responsibility for just anyone...

Cases like this sad, sad Cumbria case give strong credence to the arguments of the anti-gun lobbyists here in the U.S...

9:57 AM  

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