Are the police liable for damage to siezed firearms, whilst in storage ?

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lincolnjefferies

Well-Known Member
[h=2]Are the police liable for damage to siezed firearms, whilst in storage ? [/h] If you are required to hand in your sporting guns to the police as a result of an non firearms related matter, are the police liable for damage caused to them due to careless handling and poor storage whilst in police possesion ?

Cheers
 

perdix

Well-Known Member
I do know of someone who claims he was compensated for damage to his firearms while in the care of Notts. Constabulary but as he is a little bit of a Walter Mitty character and an ex-copper I am unsure as to take the claim
 

lincolnjefferies

Well-Known Member
Interesting, mine went off piled on top of each other in plastic evidence bags in the back of a police van, so I'm a little concerned.
 

perdix

Well-Known Member
They threw my AYA No.2 in the back of a patrol car even though they were offered a bag when they fetched mine mate so there's nothing unusual there.
To be fair a copper threw it in the back of the car telling me I would never see it again while his mate walked away,shaking his head saying he wanted no part of what was going on.
 
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I. Farticus

Well-Known Member
Brithunter is probably the best source of what can happen to rifles in Police storage...

Not a happy camper, as can be seen in a thread from some time ago, but I'll let him respond to this
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
The potential problem is the burden of proof rests with the aggrieved person, unless the police are honest enough to admit to the damage or give you a receipt in respect of the condition of the guns when they were seized, just how do you prove that they were responsible?

atb Tim
 

Irish Bob

Well-Known Member
Yes they are.

It is a bailment.

The standard of proof is the civil standard, more likely than not.
 

kennyc

Well-Known Member
The potential problem is the burden of proof rests with the aggrieved person, unless the police are honest enough to admit to the damage or give you a receipt in respect of the condition of the guns when they were seized, just how do you prove that they were responsible?

atb Tim
by the same token, if they can't be bothered to give a receipt with condition noted ,then how do they prove they haven't caused damage?
 

teabag_46

Well-Known Member
Also, most firearms owners probably like their firearms to be working - so if they were damaged or not working, the police would probably have been unable to collect, as, in all likelihood a damaged or broken firearm would have been at an RFD being repaired.
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
by the same token, if they can't be bothered to give a receipt with condition noted ,then how do they prove they haven't caused damage?

Even though any court claim arising from the damage would be decided on the "balance of probabilities" standard you still need some evidence to support your case, e.g. good photographs of the seized guns, which might be a good idea anyway in case they get stolen.

atb Tim
 

pheasant sniper 1

Well-Known Member
I can state for a fact... After having my firearms removed they had taped three of them together knackering the wood....

On my picking them up there was no concern for what to them seemed to be a fuss on my part over nothing..

I put this down to a lack of knowledge on their part of the huge variation in cost and value of what to them looks like the same thing..

Good luck if its an antique :)
 

lincolnjefferies

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the information, which gives plenty of food for thought, fortunately I have detailed photos of the most valuable one, dating from 1937 in original time warp 99.5% condition, but there are others which are of greater sentimental value, but sadly not photographed. I would imagine that there will be an even level of new scuffs, dents and scratches, which will help prove its not historic damage. They were taken away in plastic evidence bags piled up on top of each other.

While I was at the station, I was informed that they were sending the firearms squad around to my house to collect my sporting guns. I asked how they were going to do that as all the keys were on my keyring in my pocket. I was informed that they were going to break down my front door, break open my gun room door, cut into my cabinet and remove my sporting guns and ammunition.
I politely reasoned with him and it only the fact that I had a policeman who was a decent human being prevented it. He phoned up the firearms squad in my presence, told them that I seemed quite normal and so we went and picked them up.
All that for a malicious allegation of assault, without a single mark or injury on the alleged victim. I was treated as if I was a dangerous criminal.
 
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CWMMAN3738

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately an all too common occurrence and reaction by police these days sometimes viewing it as an opertunity to practice methods, you were very lucky to find a reasonable & sensible officer willing to listen & act, however they would pay for any damage if nothing came of it, I got £600+ for repair/replacement back door when it happened to me after professional standards became involved.
Thank you for the information, which gives plenty of food for thought, fortunately I have detailed photos of the most valuable one, dating from 1937 in original time warp 99.5% condition, but there are others which are of greater sentimental value, but sadly not photographed. I would imagine that there will be an even level of new scuffs, dents and scratches, which will help prove its not historic damage. They were taken away in plastic evidence bags piled up on top of each other.

While I was at the station, I was informed that they were sending the firearms squad around to my house to collect my sporting guns. I asked how they were going to do that as all the keys were on my keyring in my pocket. I was informed that they were going to break down my front door, break open my gun room door, cut into my cabinet and remove my sporting guns and ammunition.
I politely reasoned with him and it only the fact that I had a policeman who was a decent human being prevented it. He phoned up the firearms squad in my presence, told them that I seemed quite normal and so we went and picked them up.
All that for a malicious allegation of assault, without a single mark or injury on the alleged victim. I was treated as if I was a dangerous criminal.
 

Haggis Hunter

Well-Known Member
Some items tend to get a bit of a hard time in police custody/stores, firearms being no different in my experience. If you are lucky and they simply went straight into a secure store you might be ok. If they have done the rounds of the UK, between police stations and/or external forensic science providers you might have issues on their return.

As said before, good 'before' photo's will help you. I would be inclined to insist on looking at them in the presence of the police when they are returned and comment at that point on any obvious damage. Having a witness with you would do no harm. Not sure how easy this would be if you are just told to collect them from a property office. It might even be worth specifically asking to have the investigating officer present when you retrieve/check them. Nothing wrong with making it clear up front you are worried.

On a slightly more positive point I've not seen many exhibits deliberately damaged (or ones that looked like they have been deliberately damaged) in police/forensic custody. I can see very little need to do anything destructive in testing a firearm. Now cutting a lump out a leather jacket to retrieve a sample of a mystery stain for analysis is another matter.................

Hope I've made a you feel a bit less worried!

hh
 
The answer to this question is 'YES THEY ARE'
The main role of the Police is 'the protection of life and property'
The Police have a duty of care to look after any property they sieze or take store of, The Chief Officer of Police issues instructions called standing orders, to take care of any property that comes into Police possession, this will include firearms and ammunition.
If your guns are siezed 'insist that they are properly stored and cleaned if nessasary' make this request in writing.
 

lincolnjefferies

Well-Known Member
Picked up my sporting guns yesterday and...oh joy... bar some scratches and creases to the woodwork and rust stains to the metal work, they were tolerably o.k. I imagined they would be much, much worse. They were fortunately seized well oiled, so that must have helped and the storage area can't have been damp.
In all fairness the property officer was helpful and willing to annotate the obvious damage on the paperwork and photocopy it. He allowed me to take pictures of the damage.
I won't be chasing it up though, as I can't be doing with the moither and its only relatively light damage.
I just want to try and and forget about it all and get back to enjoying mooching around with my rifle and bringing home tasty things to eat !
Thank you for the valuable advice I recieved on this thread and other threads.
I don't think the phrase, "Alls well, that ends well", is quite appropriate for the end of this ordeal, but something along those lines !
 
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