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chaos4122

Public place or not

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chaos4122

 

Simply, is a council run allotment a public place?

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Burnsy2023

Depends on any specifics that aren't obvious, but usually yes.

There's no single defintion, but they're usually similar. Here's one of the more recent from the Policing and Crime Act 2009, s30 (4):

Quote

For the purposes of subsection (2) a place is a public place if at the material time the public or any section of the public has access to it, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission.

 

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Sherlock

As above. "Council-run allotment" is insufficient detail.

There are some allotments that are open to the public; there are some allotments that are private, however with public footpaths running through them.

Some councils state in their tenancy agreements that only tenants or guest are permitted in the allotment - but how is this known to the public who may inadvertently enter without knowing whether public / private? Then you have to consider offence of placing notices up on/near access land or on/near way leading to access land (Countryside and Rights of Way 2000, S14).

Also, if in relation to any particular legislation, depending on which you'd need to know the difference between 'public place' or 'place to which the public has access'.

More detail required - particularly with any offence/circumstance requiring police intervention - even if a made-up scenario.

Having said that I don't know whether there is a definitive answer and for a court to decide ...

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chaos4122

Dave, is in a council run alotment, with other members who are tending to their crops...

 

Dave is a paying member of this alotment and has been for some time.

 

Dave is annoyed about all the birds, especially wood pigeons, eating and destroying his crops.

 

Dave buys a 22 cal air rifle and starts shooting the wood pigeons in the alotment, although there are one or two other members present the gates to the alotment is locked and only people with a key can gain access.

 

Dave spots a pigeon sat in a tree sat in a neighbouring garden, he takes aim, shoots and knocks the bird out of the tree injuring it. ( The bird eventually gets put down)

 

The occupants of the neighbouring garden that the bird was in sees this and takes exseption too this, jumps the fence, detains the male and takes the air rifle from dave before calling the police.

 

What offences has Dave commited?

 

With the gates locked to the alotment, is it still a public place, or a place to witch the public have access.

 

Any member of the public can apply for an alotment....

 

 

 

 

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Sherlock
Dave, is in a council run alotment, with other members who are tending to their crops...

 

Dave is a paying member of this alotment and has been for some time.

 

Dave is annoyed about all the birds, especially wood pigeons, eating and destroying his crops.

 

Dave buys a 22 cal air rifle and starts shooting the wood pigeons in the alotment, although there are one or two other members present the gates to the alotment is locked and only people with a key can gain access.

 

Dave spots a pigeon sat in a tree sat in a neighbouring garden, he takes aim, shoots and knocks the bird out of the tree injuring it. ( The bird eventually gets put down)

 

The occupants of the neighbouring garden that the bird was in sees this and takes exseption too this, jumps the fence, detains the male and takes the air rifle from dave before calling the police.

 

What offences has Dave commited?

 

With the gates locked to the alotment, is it still a public place, or a place to witch the public have access.

 

Any member of the public can apply for an alotment....

 

 

 

 

 

21A Firearms Act 1968?

 

EDIT: See S.34 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 for further

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chaos4122
 
21A Firearms Act 1968?
 
EDIT: See S.34 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 for further



Would that not depend if it's a public premises at the time?

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Sceptre
4 minutes ago, chaos4122 said:

Would that not depend if it's a public premises at the time?

Nope, the offence mentions "any premises". 

Quote

21A Firing an air weapon beyond premises

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he has with him an air weapon on any premises; and

(b) he uses it for firing a missile beyond those premises.

(2) In proceedings against a person for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for him to show that the only premises into or across which the missile was fired were premises the occupier of which had consented to the firing of the missile (whether specifically or by way of a general consent)

 

Edited by Sceptre

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chaos4122
 



What about Section 37 : Possession of air weapon or imitation firearm in public place.

I have been told that this would also fit the senario...

However I am unsure if a locked alotment is a public place... Even though any paying member of the public can have access..

It says the the act that :-

"A public place is also defined in section 57(4) of the 1968 Act. It includes
any highway and any other premises or place to which at the material time the
public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise."

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BlueBob
53 minutes ago, chaos4122 said:

 

 


What about Section 37 : Possession of air weapon or imitation firearm in public place.

I have been told that this would also fit the senario...

However I am unsure if a locked alotment is a public place... Even though any paying member of the public can have access..

It says the the act that :-

"A public place is also defined in section 57(4) of the 1968 Act. It includes
any highway and any other premises or place to which at the material time the
public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise."

 

 

So what is the problem, the owner has a reasonable excuse to use it, namely vermin control that they later use it beyond their boundaries doesn't remove the fundamental reason for having it there so no S37 offence.    And yes, IMHO it would be a public place under the firearms definitions.

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chaos4122

The problem is that someone is walking around shooting birds without the land owners permission... It's an offence to kill a wild bird .

 

 

The law permits:

 

The grant of General Licences to owners or occupier of land, or people with permission from them. General Licences (issued by DEFRA) apply when it can be shown that the pest species will pose a threat to public health and safety, air safety or are causing serious damage to growing crops. These pest species include carrion crows, feral pigeons and jackdaws.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wild-birds-licence-to-take-or-kill-for-health-or-safety-purposes

 

You can’t use this licence to kill birds because they are damaging your property, such as your car or house, or if they’re a nuisance.

 

 

 

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SD

Isn't there an offence of firing and air weapon within 50ft of a highway.

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BlueBob
6 hours ago, chaos4122 said:

The problem is that someone is walking around shooting birds without the land owners permission... It's an offence to kill a wild bird emoji211.png.

The law permits:

The grant of General Licences to owners or occupier of land, or people with permission from them. General Licences (issued by DEFRA) apply when it can be shown that the pest species will pose a threat to public health and safety, air safety or are causing serious damage to growing crops. These pest species include carrion crows, feral pigeons and jackdaws.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wild-birds-licence-to-take-or-kill-for-health-or-safety-purposes

You can’t use this licence to kill birds because they are damaging your property, such as your car or house, or if they’re a nuisance

 

My query was in response to your raising the S37 offenc which has nothing to do with shooting birds on other premises, as was clarified.    

Or are you now saying that because of your quote above, the person commits the S37 offence you mention.   

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chaos4122
My query was in response to your raising the S37 offenc which has nothing to do with shooting birds on other premises, as was clarified.    
Or are you now saying that because of your quote above, the person commits the S37 offence you mention.   



I would imagine that it all boils down to the general licence as quoted...

If you have permission from the land owner and you adhear to the conditions, then you wouldn't commit the offence of s37... As long as you keep it within your boundaries.

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BlueBob
4 hours ago, chaos4122 said:


I would imagine that it all boils down to the general licence as quoted...

If you have permission from the land owner and you adhear to the conditions, then you wouldn't commit the offence of s37... As long as you keep it within your boundaries.

 

 

Firstly a typo - the possession in a public place is S19 of the Firearms Act '68 and not S37.  

IMHO, your general licence has nothing to do with the actual possession (S19) nor shooting over the boundary (S21A as per Sceptre above). Ignoring the moral side of shooting the birds, the offence would be shooting over boundaries, assuming the neighbour had objections or not given possession.   The wildlife & countryside act  (potentially) covers Dave in that he is protecting his crops which is also within the GL.     

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chaos4122
Firstly a typo - the possession in a public place is S19 of the Firearms Act '68 and not S37.  
IMHO, your general licence has nothing to do with the actual possession (S19) nor shooting over the boundary (S21A as per Sceptre above). Ignoring the moral side of shooting the birds, the offence would be shooting over boundaries, assuming the neighbour had objections or not given possession.   The wildlife & countryside act  (potentially) covers Dave in that he is protecting his crops which is also within the GL.     



Dave can protect his crops, but you can't ignore the fact he did it against the conditions in the GL as stated in the wildlife and countryside act.
"It's an offence to kill a wild bird"

Dave's only defence is that he was protecting his crops, and was doing this with an air weapon... And if this is so then he would be protected against prosecution under section 19 , possessing a air weapon in a public place.

However even though Dave rents a small plot, this is council land and thus they have not given him permission to shoot on there land.

Becouse of this, the GL is not adheard to and the possession of the air weapon would be iliagal.

If the council did give him permission and he was shooting birds in other people's gardens, then the only offence would be shooting over boundaries.


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