I am a law abiding, taxpaying citizen that has never been in any trouble with the Police. However treatment I have had at the hands of Northumbrian Police in the last few days I can only describe as shocking.
A year ago when I lived in North Yorkshire my Wife suffered a mental break, attempented suicide. She was sectioned under the mental health act. Whilst she was in hospital I moved to Northumberland to make a new start. I transferred my FOC to my new address and during my security inspection explain to the Officer my Wife’s situation and that she would be coming home at some stage. I reassured her on the security of the security of my gun cabinet and that was fine. That was in Jan of this year.
In May my Wife returned home and was fine for a few months until she was readmitted hospital. She was released again last week and that is when the trouble started. On Friday two armed Police officers accompanied by two CID officers at no warning conducted what I can only describe as a ‘raid’ on my home. They seized all my guns but left my bolts, ammunition and FOC with me.
To be fair the armed officers were polite and most importantly treated my expensive guns with great care and respect. But the male CID officer was rude and aggressive. When I finally got rid of them my children were in tears, my wife inconsolable and the neighbors all out on the street watching what was going on.
As they left they gave me a letter. This stated that my FOC had been revoked and I had to surrender it, all my guns, moderates and ammunition. So I am now in procession of a quality of ammunition illegally!!
I rang both the BDS and BASC for advice. Faxing them the letter and they gave me some initial advice but wanting to take time to consider matters.
I then rang Tina Watson Head of Firearms Licensing. The only options she gave me was to have the guns stored at a fellow FOC holder address or appeal to the court. As I explained to her I have just moved to the area and have no friends or family within 100mile. She refused to listen and kept saying she had no interest in what the BASC had to say the Chief of Police was always right. She was not interested in the distress she had caused my family and to be honest spoke to me like I was a criminal and was rude. She also refused to give me any details about what information she had on my wife’s condition or how she got it. So I could nt argue that my wife is now completely stable.
My next step was to complain to Northumbrian Police not only about their heavy handed attitude and unprofessional attitude of their Officers. I did this by e mail and to be fair within a few hours I was contacted by an Insp Neil Frazer from Bellington. He explained that he was a shooter himself. But there was nothing he was able/willing to do about what had happened. Unofficially he told me the only hope I had of getting my guns back at home was to get rid of my Wife. He also was unwilling to discuss the behavior of the two Officers I was complaining about.
My next step tomorrow is to try and contact The Chief Constable, I know Nothumbrian Police have just had this Roel Moat issue to deal with. But I have been treated like a Criminal. I am worried about speaking to the Licenecing Office further in case they use that against me. I am also using the Freedom of information act to get hold for the information on file. And trying to get a letter off my Wife’s Doctor saying she is now safe. However I think it is him that as written to the FAO telling them of my Wife’s release.
I understand the Police have a job to do but it is their heavy handed, rude and unprofessional attitude I am more upset about. If they would have phoned me giving 48 hours notice to remove the guns from my house. I would unhappy but understanding. I now feel like a no better than a criminal.