Pigeon shooting enthusiasts arrested after hoax call
?After an hour of shooting, a woman approached us. She abused us verbally, claiming shooting was cruel and threatened to call the police and the RSPCA,? Kenneth told Shooting Times magazine.
Twenty minutes later, a police helicopter and 7 armed response vehicles arrived at the remote barley field after the woman lied to the police saying she had been threatened by two men with firearms.
?Despite reasoning with the police, we were arrested and taken to Carlton police station, where our fingerprints, DNA and photos were taken. We were then locked in a cell for 2 hours while the woman was interviewed. She eventually admitted that she had lied and we were released without charge,? said Kenneth.
Under section 64 of the 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the DNA of Kenneth and Mark will now be retained on police records indefinitely.
?We feel completely helpless. We are furious about how we were treated and have been told that the woman can only be fined a maximum of £80 for wasting police time,? said Mark.
Solicitor Jamie Foster, of Somerset-based firm Clarke Willmott, specialises in defending fieldsports enthusiasts.
He said: ?I sympathise with Mr Davis and his son. I think their case shows how irresponsible some of the anti-shooting community are prepared to be in getting their message across.?
Mr Foster added there is a case for prosecuting someone who wastes police time.
?I also think there is a case for naming and shaming the individual involved. After all, she potentially put the lives of both the shooters and the police in danger as a result of her allegation.?
According to Mr Foster, Kenneth and Mark could sue the woman, but they would have to fund the case themselves.
?We do not know whether the woman involved has any assets, and whether the two men would be able to recover their costs, but they may wish to take such an action as a matter of principle.?
Shooting groups have said this case demonstrates why it is important to support the Campaign for Common Sense.
?The Countryside Alliance (CA) supports Shooting Times? excellent campaign,? said the CA?s Jill Grieve. ?With incidents such as this, members of the law-abiding shooting community may in future feel they have no option other than to take legal action. Shooters want to maintain good relations with the police, but equally no-one carrying out legitimate shooting should have to go through what the Davises have suffered in this case.?
A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers? Organisation agreed. ?Shooting Times has made a good job of pulling the various accounts of police incompetence together into a campaign. Bad practice and misunderstandings are the exception rather than the rule, but they still need addressing. Nobody, including the police, likes to be put in the position of looking a fool, so there is every chance that with the right educational work the outstanding problems can be solved.?
BASC has also said it supports the campaign.
BASC senior firearms officer, Mike Eveleigh, said: ?The police must take allegations of making threats to kill very seriously, so the fact they sent an armed team to the scene is not surprising. We are currently rewriting our Guide to Shooting for police forces, which will hopefully continue to be useful to them when they train their officers.?
Responding to the incident, a Nottinghamshire police spokesman told Shooting Times: ?If people are planning to go shooting, we would advise them to notify police when and where they are going. This will assist officers in assessing any situation or risk should an incident be reported in that area.?