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UK Plymouth shooter ‘should have been on watchlist’ – former prosecutor

Plymouth gunman Jake Davison should have been on a police watchlist before he killed five people and himself in a shooting spree, a former top prosecutor said.

Nazir Afzal, who was previously chief crown prosecutor for the North West said Davison, 22, was “exactly the type of person the authorities should be keeping an eye on”.

Davison killed his mother on Thursday in the Keyham area of Plymouth before going on to shoot dead four more people, including a three-year-old girl, and injure two others.An investigation has since been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into Davison’s possession of a shotgun and a firearms licence, which were returned to him in July after being removed last December following an allegation of assault against him in September 2020. 

When asked on BBC Breakfast on Saturday if Davison should have been on a watchlist, Mr Afzal said: “Yes, absolutely, particularly given that he had a firearms licence and given that we now learn in December it was taken off him temporarily because of allegations he was facing and returned to him.

“He was exactly the kind of person that you would be keeping an eye on or the authorities should be keeping an eye on.”

Mr Afzal said none of Davison’s social media posts seemed to have been taken into account when restoring his gun licence.

When asked on BBC Breakfast if a year seemed like a short period of time for the licence to be revoked, he said: “100% I agree with you.

“It’s not just about the fact that the gun was returned to him, his licence was restored.

Plymouth incident
People leave flowers in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died in a mass shooting (Ben Birchall/PA)

“None of that seems to have been taken into account.”

He added: “If they (the police) were aware (of his social media posts) then they have got even more questions to be asked.”

Davison’s social media use suggested he was involved in the “incel” culture, a following in which people describe themselves as “involuntary celibates” and feel they are being oppressed by women due to a perceived lack of sexual interest.

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