Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Armed response team called to Launceston eviction

You may have read on local news websites about a Police armed response team being called out to an eviction in Moorland Road, Launceston where a woman had an air rifle.

Having talked to the Police, it appears that the news reports are not completely accurate. I understand that an eviction was taking place but the householder barricaded herself in the house and told the eviction team that she had a gun. At this point the Police were called and an armed response team was despatched. Given that they had no idea what sort of gun they were dealing with or whether any threats to use it had been made, I think that this is the only response possible.

The Police also kept the children at St Catherine's School inside and arranged for parents to wait at the Police Station.

After a period of discussion with a trained negotiator, the woman left the house and an air rifle was recovered. I understand that the Police are satisfied that the woman made no threats to use the gun and that no one was actually in danger, but they could not have known this when the first reports were made. The woman has now been evicted from the house and will not be returning.

In my (non-expert) opinion, the Police acted incredibly professionally through all of this and have discussed the situation with local residents and with parents, staff and pupils at the schools to explain what happened. This sort of incident is, thankfully, incredibly rare in Cornwall, but I'm very glad that our local force is able to handle such a situation so well. I'm also glad that it didn't turn out to be nearly as serious as was first feared.

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