Rubber bullets found by worker on grass verge in Kendal

The Westmorland Gazette: The baton rounds found on a grass verge at Kendal The baton rounds found on a grass verge at Kendal

A CASE of rubber bullets has been picked up by a member of the public after being ‘misplaced’ by Cumbria Police.

Five baton rounds, which are traditionally used for riot control, were found by an office worker in a grass verge at Shap Road, Kendal, where they had been abandoned following ‘operations’ in the area.

A police spokeswoman was unable to say what the ‘operations’ had been, but said it was ‘not a training exercise’ and involved ‘tactical groups’.

“I think it’s horrendous,” said Dave Armstrong, managing director of Cox and Allen Building Contractors, whose employee handed the bullets in.

“If you were a shooting man and you left your cartridges and things lying around they’d be on you like a ton of bricks and you’d probably lose your licence.

“Then here we have five mystery pieces of kit just lying in the grass where anyone could have found them.”

Mr Armstrong said the case was initially discovered on Friday by two of his employees, who did not realise the significance of the cache.

They believed the case had fallen from a cyclist and left it in plain sight on a nearby wall, hoping someone would claim it.

On Tuesday another employee brought it to the attention of Mr Armstrong.

“I’ve never known the police attend so fast,” he said. “The bullets could have been discarded or dropped where kids play, or where they might have fallen into the wrong hands. You dread to think.”

According to the College of Policing, the batons are ‘attenuating energy projectiles’ which form part of the weapon system approved for use by the police service and the UK’s armed forces.

It is a ‘less lethal’ weapon but ‘has the potential for lethal consequences in certain circumstances’.

Paul Beavan, of Sedbergh Shooting Club, who used rubber bullets when he served in the army in the 1970s, said they could have been ‘very dangerous’.

“If someone had been messing about with them they could have ricocheted up and caused some damage,” he said.

“And if someone had a weapon to fire them with and shot them at close range you’d have a serious problem.”

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A spokesman for Cumbria Constabulary described the event as ‘an isolated incident of human error’ and said management advice would be given to the officers concerned.

Inspector Paul Telford, of Cumbria Constabulary, added that the weapons were ‘stable’ – and that efforts had been made ‘immediately’ to find them.

“I’m confident no one has been put at risk,” he said. “I have reviewed the measures in place to minimise the possibility of this happening again.”

Comments (3)

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12:17pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

The police have been very slack in not accounting for these items after their mysterious exercises in an area which has not experienced a riot nor the threat of a riot. Whoever drew them out of an armoury and did not return them should have loss of pay or demotion. Maybe Mr Rhodes can look into this?
The police have been very slack in not accounting for these items after their mysterious exercises in an area which has not experienced a riot nor the threat of a riot. Whoever drew them out of an armoury and did not return them should have loss of pay or demotion. Maybe Mr Rhodes can look into this? Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 1

2:56pm Thu 17 Apr 14

doodleshire14 says...

Cumbria police "immediately" made an "effort" to find them. They were left on top of a stone wall for 4 days. The questions are: How much immediacy? How much effort?
Cumbria police "immediately" made an "effort" to find them. They were left on top of a stone wall for 4 days. The questions are: How much immediacy? How much effort? doodleshire14
  • Score: 3

8:40pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Cas220 says...

doodleshire14 wrote:
Cumbria police "immediately" made an "effort" to find them. They were left on top of a stone wall for 4 days. The questions are: How much immediacy? How much effort?
Well, you have got to wonder how long they have been sitting in the grass verge though. I'm sure whatever 'exercise' it was is not a regular occurrence and they must have known this was where the bullets had been left.... Does anyone know exactly where on Shap Road they were found?
[quote][p][bold]doodleshire14[/bold] wrote: Cumbria police "immediately" made an "effort" to find them. They were left on top of a stone wall for 4 days. The questions are: How much immediacy? How much effort?[/p][/quote]Well, you have got to wonder how long they have been sitting in the grass verge though. I'm sure whatever 'exercise' it was is not a regular occurrence and they must have known this was where the bullets had been left.... Does anyone know exactly where on Shap Road they were found? Cas220
  • Score: 0

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