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  1. Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. What is the secret? If you want to buy a gun in Japan you need patience and determination. You have to attend an all-day class, take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%. There are also mental health and drugs tests. Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too - and even your work colleagues. And as well as having the power to deny gun licences, police also have sweeping powers to search and seize weapons. That's not all. Handguns are banned outright. Only shotguns and air rifles are allowed. The law restricts the number of gun shops. In most of Japan's 40 or so prefectures there can be no more than three, and you can only buy fresh cartridges by returning the spent cartridges you bought on your last visit. Police must be notified where the gun and the ammunition are stored - and they must be stored separately under lock and key. Police will also inspect guns once a year. And after three years your licence runs out, at which point you have to attend the course and pass the tests again. This helps explain why mass shootings in Japan are extremely rare. When mass killings occur, the killer most often wields a knife. The current gun control law was introduced in 1958, but the idea behind the policy dates back centuries. "Ever since guns entered the country, Japan has always had strict gun laws," says Iain Overton, executive director of Action on Armed Violence and the author of Gun Baby Gun. "They are the first nation to impose gun laws in the whole world and I think it laid down a bedrock saying that guns really don't play a part in civilian society." People were being rewarded for giving up firearms as far back as 1685, a policy Overton describes as "perhaps the first ever gun buyback initiative". The result is a very low level of gun ownership - 0.6 guns per 100 people in 2007, according to the Small Arms Survey, compared to 6.2 in England and Wales and 88.8 in the US. "The moment you have guns in society, you will have gun violence but I think it's about the quantity," says Overton. "If you have very few guns in society, you will almost inevitably have low levels of violence." Japanese police officers rarely use guns and put much greater emphasis on martial arts - all are expected to become a black belt in judo. They spend more time practising kendo (fighting with bamboo swords) than learning how to use firearms. "The response to violence is never violence, it's always to de-escalate it. Only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide [in 2015]," says journalist Anthony Berteaux. "What most Japanese police will do is get huge futons and essentially roll up a person who is being violent or drunk into a little burrito and carry them back to the station to calm them down." Overton contrasts this with the American model, which he says has been "to militarise the police". "If you have too many police pulling out guns at the first instance of crime, you lead to a miniature arms race between police and criminals," he says. To underline the taboo attached to inappropriate use of weapons, an officer who used his gun to kill himself was charged posthumously with a criminal offence. He carried out the act while on duty - policemen never carry weapons off-duty, leaving them at the station when they finish their shift. The care police take with firearms is mirrored in the self-defence forces. Journalist Jake Adelstein once attended a shooting practice, which ended with the gathering up of the bullet casings - and there was great concern when one turned out to be missing. "One bullet shell was unaccounted for - one shell had fallen behind one of the targets - and nobody was allowed to leave the facilities until they found the shell," he says. There is no clamour in Japan for gun regulations to be relaxed, says Berteaux. "A lot of it stems from this post-war sentiment of pacifism that the war was horrible and we can never have that again," he explains. "People assume that peace is always going to exist and when you have a culture like that you don't really feel the need to arm yourself or have an object that disrupts that peace." In fact, moves to expand the role of Japan's self-defence forces in foreign peacekeeping operations have caused concern in some quarters. "It is unknown territory," says political science professor Koichi Nakano. "Maybe the government will try to normalise occasional death in the self-defence force and perhaps even try to glorify the exercise of weapons?" According to Iain Overton, the "almost taboo level of rejection" of guns in Japan means that the country is "edging towards a perfect place" - though he points out that Iceland also achieves a very low rate of gun crime, despite a much higher level of gun ownership. Henrietta Moore of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London applauds the Japanese for not viewing gun ownership as "a civil liberty", and rejecting the idea of firearms as "something you use to defend your property against others". But for Japanese gangsters the tight gun control laws are a problem. Yakuza gun crime has sharply declined in the last 15 years, but those who continue to carry firearms have to find ingenious ways of smuggling them into the country. "The criminals pack the guns inside of a tuna so it looks like a frozen tuna," says retired police officer Tahei Ogawa. "But we have discovered cases where they have actually hidden a gun inside." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38365729 Probably too late for the police in the UK and US to take this approach, but certainly an interesting article.
  2. London gun owners are asking questions of the Metropolitan Police after the force seemingly handed the addresses of 30,000 firearm and shotgun owners to a direct mail marketing agency for a commercial firm's advertising campaign. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/19/met_police_30000_gun_owner_data_breach/
  3. Police Hour Holding image This image is displayed when we don't have an image of the incident we are reporting. Around 6pm this evening (Tuesday January 2), during a pre-planned policing operation near to the M62 in Huddersfield a police firearm was discharged and a man has died. The slip roads east and west bound at junction 24 of the M62 remain closed. An immediate referral has been made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who are in attendance in West Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Police are fully cooperating with their investigation. More Follows. Visit Police Hour to read more
  4. I've not seen anything quite like this. And I don't think I'll ever hear a radio update "magazine empty, car full of holes" in my entire policing career.
  5. A man has pulled a gun on five policemen in Ribbleton - but it failed to go off when he pulled the trigger. http://www.lep.co.uk/news/local/man-pulls-gun-on-police-in-preston-1-7638840 from the Lancashire Evening Post. was going to put this in my community area, but felt it was better in UK due to the more severe fact the... Let's be polite and say 'alleged offender' actually aimed and pulled the trigger. Absolutely shocking. mods, obviously please feel free to move as you see appropriate
  6. Don't pull guns on cops... SGT Green's footage, the other officer on scene. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
  7. Hot and miss! Police gun can't fire straight in the warm weather: Assault rifles accuracy is unreliable during hot weather Leaked report suggests G36 rifle did not shoot straight when it overheated German army carried out tests and none of the 304 assault rifles passed The weapon is used by British counterterrorism officers across the UK An urgent Home Office review has been called for in light of the findings ABOUT THE G36 RIFLE The G36 was created for the requirements of the German armed forces but it is also used as an infantry weapon in around 50 countries. It is used in Britain by counterterrorism police. First made: 1995 Calibre: 5.56 mm x 45 Magazine capacity: 30 rounds Weight: 3.63kg Length: 755-1,002mm Use in the UK: Between 2,000 and 3,000 G36 rifles belong to police forces across the country An assault rifle used by counter-terror police does not shoot straight when it gets hot, tests claim. The Heckler & Koch G36 is inaccurate by up to 20 feet at long range when temperatures top 30C, it was found. The weapon also becomes unreliable when it is left in direct sunlight, exposed to humidity or fired repeatedly, according to a confidential report. The findings have prompted an urgent inquiry into the German-made firearm, which is used by law enforcement officers across the UK. Britain's police forces use a short-barrelled version of the weapon known as the G36C – and have a total arsenal of up to 3,000. Counter-terror and armed response unit officers use them when they need more firepower than the 9mm pistols or carbines they usually carry. Now experts at the Home Office's Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) will lead the inquiry after Germany said the rifle had 'no future' with its military. A leaked report commissioned by Berlin's defence ministry said the precision and accuracy of the G36 deteriorated when it overheated, either because of the temperature or rapid fire. It concluded that when the atmospheric temperature reached 30C (86F), bullets missed their mark by about 50cm (20 inches) at a range of 200m (220 yards) and by up to six metres – about 20ft – over 500m (546 yards). Reports in the German media claimed it also started to become seriously inaccurate after it fired just two magazines – about 60 rounds. Heckler & Koch denies the weapon is inaccurate. But Britain's National Police Chiefs' Council has asked CAST to consider the findings. Simon Chesterman, spokesman on armed policing, said: 'The reliability of any weaponry that the police service uses is of paramount importance.' Superintendent Kevin Carter, of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, which guards Britain's atomic plants, said it had not experienced problems but added: 'We will monitor the situation and await advice from CAST.' UK police are said to be desperate for a new firearm to help curb the threat of terrorists carrying high-velocity automatic weapons and using body armour. Officers are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their ageing armoury and are concerned by the discovery of heavy weapons among criminal gangs. The G36, created in the early 1990s for German troops, is also used in around 50 other countries. British Special Forces used it in Iraq but reports surfaced in 2012 that G36s used by German soldiers in Afghanistan would overheat during prolonged firefights. In the German report, experts tested 304 rifles – including the short-barrelled version – and found none passed precision tests. They concluded: 'The causes for the reduced accuracy do not lie in one of the components... but rather in the whole system.' Lieutenant-Colonel Markus Thull, of the German defence ministry, said the G36 was now 'not fit for purpose'. Andreas Heeschen, of Heckler & Koch, said the rifle complied with its original specifications, but a gun 'designed for the Cold War' did not meet current requirements. He added that the company had received no complaints from the 50 countries where the weapon is used but vowed to assist with the UK review. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3056013/British-anti-terror-police-using-assault-rifles-not-shoot-straight-hot-weather.html
  8. Injury: PC Mark Bird was shot through the hand A man who claimed he thought he was carrying a toy gun when he shot a police officer through the hand was today jailed for 12 years. Shocking images released by the Met Police today show the police officer’s bloody hand with a black wound in the middle of his palm and bullets lying in the pavement after the shooting. Michael Olsen, of Lavinia Road, Dartford, was approached by the two officers on October 3 last year, after he crashed into a traffic island and several other cars in Westwood Lane, Welling. Inner London Crown Court heard he abandoned the Land Rover Freelander in the road and walked away towards Welling. PC Mark Bird and PC Robert Wilson traced him to nearby Wendover Way and pulled up alongside him in an attempt to speak to him, but he refused. When they got out of their car and approached the 52-year-old he turned around and pointed a gun at PC Wilson. Jailed: Michael Olsen, 52 PC Bird lunged forward to the aid of his colleague and Olsen shot him in the hand, the court heard. Related stories Both police officers were able to restrain Olsen, disarm him and put him in handcuffs. The court heard when Olsen was questioned at a south London police station he claimed he was unaware the gun was real, stating he thought it was a toy. Gun shot: bullets lying on the pavement following the shooting Olsen was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a firearm with intent to danger life, possession of ammunition and dangerous driving following a trial at Inner London Court. Firearm: Olsen claimed he thought he was brandishing a toy gun A judge at the same court jailed him for 12 years following a hearing on March 20. Detective Constable Toby Carroll said: “It is only by chance that his decision to brandish and discharge a firearm at unarmed officers did not have fatal consequences, as could his behaviour behind the wheel of his car. "His claim that the firearm was a toy was little more than pathetic. He will now spend a considerable time behind bars as a result of his actions." http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/jailed-man-who-shot-police-officer-through-hand-with-gun-he-claimed-was-a-toy-10140008.html
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30973760 Two men held after WW2 weapons seized in Bromley Officers were called to reports of a fight involving up to 10 men in East Street in Bromley Two men have been arrested after police seized a World War Two machine gun and a rocket launcher following a street fight in south east London. Officers also found an AK47-style assault rifle after they were called to reports of a fight in East Street, Bromley, at about 04:30 GMT. Up to 10 men were involved in the brawl which was spotted by CCTV operators, who traced a man to a Bromley address. Two men, aged 32 and 41, were arrested on suspicion of firearms offences. Officers said the three weapons found at the property were not capable of firing and were decommissioned. In a statement, the Met Police said: "The group fighting had dispersed upon arrival of officers at the scene but using CCTV, the man with the suspected firearm was traced to a nearby address in Market Square, Bromley. "Although the weapons were not capable of firing, the presence of firearms in a public place causes panic and fear of violence." Despite the headline, the rocket launcher is not a WW2 weapon
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