Friday, 27 January 2012

Guns Don’t Kill People, Novelty Calculators Kill P… Wait. What?

Mr Ashley-Miller, who runs the gift shop The Present Finder, was stunned when officers descended on his warehouse and confiscated £1,140 of stock.
What sort of stock? Whoopee cushions? Fake dog poo?
They were seized after someone saw the toys on sale on The Present Finder's website and made a complaint to firearms police.

Detectives are currently in the process of assessing the 'weapons' to decide whether they must be destroyed or returned to the shop.
What sort of weapons….sorry, ‘weapons’ are we talking about?
The £6.50 'gun' calculator is in the form of a black pistol but clearly has a calculator keypad on the butt and an LCD display on the barrel. The user has to pull the trigger to calculate their sum.
*speechless*
Mr Ashley-Miller said two ‘burly’ police officers turned up at his premises and confiscated the toys, telling him it was illegal to sell a realistic imitation firearm under the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 before carrying £1,140 worth of stock to their police car.
Well, any competent solicitor worth his salt should be able to overturn that one then!
The 49-year-old, who has run The Present Finder in Sherborne with his wife Fiona for 11 years, said: 'It seems to me like an enormous waste of police time. We have been selling these toys for more than a year and we’ve never had any complaints about them.

'As far as I know they have never been mistaken for a real weapon. They are toys.'

Yes, only someone really, really simple could possibly mist…

Why, hi there!
Sergeant Ged Want, from Sherborne Police, said: 'Officers attended the Present Finder to liaise with staff and the two products were seized by us.

'We are in the process of liaising with our firearms licensing department in Dorchester to confirm the exact details of those weapons.

'It has not yet been decided how we are going to take it forward. The actual gun does look quite realistic. It may be that, on receipt of advice, we find there’s not a problem and they can be returned.

'Or they may be committing an offence. It’s always difficult to work out if our time is being wasted.'
No. No, it really, really isn’t.
'If we have concerns over a potential imitation weapon then we have to act. If it gets in the hands of someone who wants to use it in an illegal act, then it’s not wasting our time.'
Yes. Yes, it is.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This is a stick up - give me your money - see this gun, see this special gun, see this, look, press these special keys like this, this, this, this and this and turn the gun upside down huh huh, see that? 'boobs' huh huh huh ..."

Anonymous said...

The problem, as far as i perceive it, being an officer with over 20 years service, is that common-sense and discretion went out the window when Tony Blair's lot were elected.

I would have been quite happy to have followed up the initial report, you have to check out a report or it is neglect of duty.

Having seen what they were, i would have taken photos and sent it off to the Home Office to determine if that is the kind of interpretation of the law they want. I don't make the law or guidelines.

I do know that if subsequently one of these toy 'gun look-alike' was used in a nightime robbery, and then an armed officer makes a split second decision to shoot, then my inaction would result in career/pension/life over for me. That is why 'arse-covering' and taking things to ridiculous levels will not disappear quickly. Fear of a media/victim witch-hunt.

And the person who reported it in the first-place...why did he, what were his thoughts etc. In the namby-pamby world of hand-wringers, why would anyone want a calculator that looks like a gun? I know it's an allegedly free country, but would not the do-gooders say you are making guns look 'cool' and fun?

Not that i subscribe to that, but you may get kids being idiots and scaring people who don't know better. Devils advocate and all that. Dare i also venture...yes i do..that there is also the possibility of the member of the public complaining that no action was taken on his report of a criminal offence. Headline then of..police ignored imitation firearms.....immaterial that it is a load of old..you know what. Doesn't detract from a good negative police story.

Anonymous said...

This is calculated (or claculated, calulated and caluated for full plodspeak versions) to resemble a loaded Glock at 100 yards.

That it looks nothing like a table leg sums up a much more menacing quality for me.

Angry Exile said...

I'd say Sgt Want should have gone to Specsavers if he thinks it's quite realistic.

Anonymous said...

there is a red plug on the end as required with all toy pistols or rifles

Anonymous said...

Go to a gun club one evening and let the members test you at a distance of 10 yards in the dark as to whether they are showing a fake gun in their hand or a real one.

You only have to be wrong once.

Anonymous said...

The cowboy rifle doesn't appear to have a red plug on the end?

mickey said...

Anonymous @ 11.16 27th Jan -

Ha Ha. Brill. LMAO. Aye, and it could do "Shell Oil", well at least "5hE11 01l".

Chalcedon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chalcedon said...

FFS they are not weapons. They vaguely resemble a pistol but they are not weapons per se. This madness is getting out of hand. I play airsoft which means I have several low powered air rifles that closely resemble real weapons. But to buy them you have to have a photo ID and of course in this damn cuntry, to have filled in a complex form. This country is run by Vogons and their willing accomplices.

Tattyfalarr said...

Anonymous: "see that? 'boobs' huh huh huh ..."

Don't forget "80087355" too. Oh how we digitally tortured other girls with that one...over 30 years ago now.

A precursor to both l337 5P34 and facebook bullying. Innovative, weren't we :)

Anonymous said...

"This country is run by Vogons and their willing accomplices."

It's the compulsory poetry readings I fear.

Henry Crun said...

" If it gets in the hands of someone who wants to use it in an illegal act, then it’s not wasting our time.'


Better check what 'Arry Redknapp used to calculate his tax returns.

Woman on a Raft said...

Wonder who the complainant was?

Not that this should prevent the police acting, but they ought to be aware that there are a couple of anti-gun campaigners whose emotional needs may be clouding the legal issues.

Woman on a Raft said...

June & July this year for fans of Vogon poetry:

http://www.hitchhikerslive.com/

Jiks said...

'We are in the process of liaising with our firearms licensing department in Dorchester to confirm the exact details of those weapons."

Good God man, they are not weapons ><

I know numbers can be scary for some people of a cetain IQ but really ...

jaded said...

I can't defend this.

Sorry Melvin this thread is all yours.(Or anonymous or salt and battered or whatever you are calling yourself today)

Jules de Chaussette said...

@ Jaded
Peut-être à mauvais, vin point d’enseigne.

A salt and battered said...

Good evening Jaded.

Snaresbrook Crown Court has just imprisoned one of your more shy and retiring MET colleagues.

PC Helen O'Donoghue was jailed for a year after she bit off a man’s ear in a drunken brawl. I dread to think what damage this woman could have inflicted with a toy calculator.

blueknight said...

,,being an officer with over 20 years service, is that common-sense and discretion went out the window when Tony Blair's lot were elected....
Very true. Trying to ban 'imitation' firearms was always going to be problematic, because of cases such as this. This law has put the Police in an impossible situation. Damned if they do damned if they don't
If the Govt wanted to cut violent crime it would have made more sense to draft more Officers on to Op Trident, - nudge, wink.

jaded said...

Melvin,I cannot be held responsible for all the wrong-doings of my fellow officers.

I do not criticise you every time someone called Melvin breaks the law for example.

There are about 140,000 police officers.Statistically there will be a few dodgy ones,i've never denied that.

I assume this was her first offence? Julia constantly posts stories of serious serial offenders getting lenient sentences,but the law is very strict with errant PC's found guilty.

JuliaM said...

"...and turn the gun upside down huh huh, see that? 'boobs' huh huh huh ..."

:D

"...common-sense and discretion went out the window when Tony Blair's lot were elected."

Oh, tempting though it is to load everything onto Blair's shoulders, signs of the rot from within were showing long, long before then...

"Go to a gun club one evening and let the members test you at a distance of 10 yards in the dark as to whether they are showing a fake gun in their hand or a real one."

Could do the same with a bit of whittled wood, then. So, what does that prove?

Shall we cut off everyone's fingers so they can't make a 'gun' shape inside a paper bag too?

"Wonder who the complainant was? "

Is there a rival novelty shop nearby..? ;)

JuliaM said...

"I can't defend this."

No-one with a lick of sense could!

"If the Govt wanted to cut violent crime it would have made more sense to draft more Officers on to Op Trident.."

Indeed! All the angst over this nonsense, when real guns seem never to be in short supply, is making police forces look like laughing stocks.

Anonymous said...

@ Jaded

"Melvin,I cannot be held responsible for all the wrong-doings of my fellow officers. I do not criticise you every time someone called Melvin breaks the law for example."

The student of reasoning can only stand in awe at a volley of decisive arguments. For their comparative value, yours are worthy of inclusion in the annals of Contemporary Philosophy.

That reports of convicted felons in uniform have a negative effect on policing, is true. I suggest you formalise matters by forwarding this material to the PCC, from whom you are certain to raise a response.