Further update on investigation into Devon and Cornwall Police over Jake Davison’s possession of a shotgun and certificate

6 Oct 2021 04:01 PM

The Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigation into Devon & Cornwall Police’s decision making in relation to Jake Davison’s possession of a shotgun and shotgun certificate, has made significant progress across a range of enquiries.

Our investigators have gathered information and progressed lines of enquiry concerning:

IOPC staff have met with the Home Office licensing team, the Police and Crime Commissioner and local MP and informed them of the investigative areas we are focussing on.  We will also be meeting with community representatives in the coming weeks. 

Investigators have been assessing the conduct of Devon & Cornwall Police employees directly involved in processing and checking Jake Davison’s original application for a shotgun certificate in 2017, as well as the handling of the assault by Mr Davison on two youths in September 2020, and the decision to return the weapon to him in July this year.

After reviewing information obtained so far, we have now issued a gross misconduct notice to a member of police staff and a misconduct notice to a police officer. The serving of such notices advises individuals that their conduct is subject to investigation, but does not mean that disciplinary proceedings will necessarily follow.

We are investigating the police staff member’s handling of Mr Davison’s original application for a shotgun certificate in July 2017, as well as their decision to return Mr Davison’s shotgun and shotgun certificate in July this year.  

The police officer was responsible for investigating the assaults admitted by Mr Davison in 2020.  We are investigating whether they shared information appropriately with the force Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department regarding Mr Davison’s involvement in a violent offence, and whether they took appropriate steps to seize the shotgun certificate, shotgun, and ammunition from Mr Davison.

IOPC Regional Director David Ford yesterday said:

“I again offer my heartfelt sympathies to all those affected within the Plymouth community and beyond, by the traumatic events of 12 August.  We still have significant investigative work to undertake but continue to make good progress with our enquiries.  We are reviewing a substantial amount of information gathered from Devon & Cornwall Police and elsewhere and the force has continued to co-operate fully with our independent investigation.  Based on the evidence gathered so far, we have now served disciplinary notices on two individuals within the force to advise them their conduct is subject to investigation.  The serving of such notices will be kept under review.

“We intend to complete our investigation before the end of this year. We will share any lessons that may be learned with the force and wider organisations as they emerge.  At the conclusion of our investigation, we will decide whether any individual has a disciplinary case to answer.  We expect to submit a final investigation report, which will set out our findings, to the Coroner and Devon & Cornwall Police in December.

“We appreciate the significant public interest in the enquiries taking place.  In view of the inquest proceedings, the timing of publication of our findings will be determined following consultation with the Coroner.”