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Revealed: the fatal failures behind Dunblane

#2
Taken from Police Oracle:


A succession of police officers, social workers and parents believed Thomas Hamilton was a danger to children for many years before he killed 16 primary school children and their teacher in the Dunblane massacre, yet little action was taken to tackle him.

Previously secret documents released in Edinburgh yesterday revealed widespread concern from parents and authorities over Hamilton's inappropriate and often aggressive behaviour towards children. But, despite the concerns, he was allowed to slip through the net.

One police detective believed Hamilton should have been prosecuted for lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour three years before the March 1996 massacre. But, although the officer was so concerned he went to the procurator fiscal's office to personally petition him, he was told Hamilton's actions did not merit "criminal contact".

Social workers and a firearms officer also expressed concerns about Hamilton, but the 3,000 documents released yesterday show there was little joined-up thinking from the authorities.

In a report, a detective sergeant reveals that he approached the procurator fiscal seeking a search warrant for Hamilton's home in 1993. The officer had received numerous complaints that Hamilton had been taking photographs of boys in "skimpy" swimming trunks during a summer camp he was running.

However, the procurator fiscal told the officer the photographs were not enough to seek Hamilton's prosecution and he denied the search warrant. He also told the officer not to submit any more reports on Hamilton's photographing of children.

This and other documents from Lord Cullen's inquiry were made public at the National Archives of Scotland yesterday for the first time after the lord advocate, Colin Boyd QC, decided to revoke a 100-year secrecy order placed on them.

The documents debunk several of the conspiracy theories surrounding the massacre, but parents of the victims say they expose widespread incompetence.

In 1992, a firearms officer who was sent to assess Hamilton's gun licence renewal said he "found him polite enough but a bit strange". But this, he noted, was not enough to deny his application.

By 1995, a police officer sent to assess Hamilton's latest gun application was more strident, saying he "didn't feel comfortable in his presence and was glad to get out of the house". The officer said he believed Hamilton had tried to "intimidate" him by showing him a revolver in an oilskin. But, again, he saw no reason to deny the firearms application.

Statements from witnesses reveal that Hamilton bore a bitter grudge in the months leading up to the massacre. One witness who had known Hamilton for 15 years said he had "a thing, almost paranoia, about the Scouts, police and parents in Dunblane".

The documents also reveal what happened in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. One woman lent her mobile phone to a policeman at the scene. Part of the policeman's conversation was inadvertently recorded on an answering machine. It went:

"How many's dead?"

"Eh, several, over a dozen - it's Tommy Hamilton. He's a fuckin' nutter."
No Really?????
 
#3
so the police man thought he was a bit odd and did'nt take his guns off him WTF?
I have expressed my thought on this means that some civi gun club members were a bit waltish but not that I did'nt feel safe near them.
(although mocking some who's holding a firearm is possibly not a good idea) also I'd really like that hour back I spent listening to some explain hand loading to me :(
But this was a trained copper he felt intimidated plus notes to social services plus notes about suspected child abuse plus he'd been kicked out of the scouts Barstards
 
#4
When he turned up at the local pistol club as a prospective member (iirc Callander) they were so alarmed by his behaviour that they wrote to the police and described him as someone unfit to hold a firearm.

Still £150M of compensation for pistols later we can all be thankfull that the level of firearms crime involving handguns has dropped so far.
 
#5
Foil-hat time, but whenever I read of people in positions of power dismissing allegations of possible paedophile activity and instructing the concerned to desist from investigating further, I always wonder what it is that they don't want being uncovered...
 
#6
GoodIdeaAtTheTime said:
Still £150M of compensation for pistols later we can all be thankfull that the level of firearms crime involving handguns has dropped so far.
That is of course if all the compensation was ever paid out, my father is still waiting for compensation for the old revolver we used as an emergency humane killer.
 
#7
Bladensburg said:
GoodIdeaAtTheTime said:
Still £150M of compensation for pistols later we can all be thankfull that the level of firearms crime involving handguns has dropped so far.
That is of course if all the compensation was ever paid out, my father is still waiting for compensation for the old revolver we used as an emergency humane killer.
many handguns have gone underground when many of them sussed quite rightly that Govt are notoriously slow in paying anybody compo, as to gun crime it has increased most criminal already have access to ilegal handguns, semi auto and automatic weapons all of which are supposedly elimnated.
criminal do not obey laws hence they are criminals they weapons are smuggeled in.
 
#8
And of course the government respond by putting tighter controls on us law abiding fire arms holders.

C u n t s

so the main point from all this is the guy was deemed a nut job before the "incident" and nothing was done about it, he had his little party, the act cost the tax payer millions and a direct result is that hand gun crime is up to a record high and a score of dead kids?

Rincewind
 
#9
I was always of the belief that this episode helped bLair into government and I have always felt betrayed by a country that I served could turn round and tell me I was unfit to hold a pistol for legitimate target shooting.
It will be interesting to what comes out of this, I understand that Big Ears (Charles Clarke) may allow us to field a British pistol team for London 2012 that for once will have been trained in the UK.
 
#10
I heard a credible tinfoil hat theory that involved one or two (now very senior) coppers willing to turn a blind eye to Hamilton's activities because he "knew" some people they "knew". Not so much a paedophile conspiracy (the wackiest one has UK participation in the Iraq war arising from Bliar's complicity in a paedo ring) but a more mundane story of institutional corruption.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#11
semper said:
many handguns have gone underground when many of them sussed quite rightly that Govt are notoriously slow in paying anybody compo, as to gun crime it has increased most criminal already have access to ilegal handguns, semi auto and automatic weapons all of which are supposedly elimnated.
criminal do not obey laws hence they are criminals they weapons are smuggeled in.
Did legal handguns go underground? Anyone trying that would have had short shrift from the Polizei. My father in law was virtually comatose and a few weeks from death when a posse from the Met came round to seize his war-trophy pistol. It didn't stop them from threatening him with prosecution, although he was too far gone to understand what they were saying to him.
 
#12
Lord Cullen was heard to say after the enquiry that he had wasted 3 months of his life. He recommended no changes to the existing firearms law, just proper enforcement of it. The John Major govt, spurred on by the Shadow Home Sec (T.Bliar) and the likes of Ann Pearston and the Snowdrop appeal, said "thanks for you time Lord Cullen, but we're going to ban handguns anyway!".

The firearms owners/user groups had kept a low profile in the media prefering instead to present thier evidence and argument to Lord Cullen, hoping that his report would be what the Govt acted on rather than media/public pressure. They duly got stiffed. The £150 per pistol offered was derisory at best and bordering on legitimsed theft at worst.

When TB came to power and banned .22" pistols he made 12 Olympic events illegal in the UK. Now that's a legacy! Can't stop I'm off to archery practice...
 
#13
By the way I heard one of the Dunblane fathers being tortured on Radio Four's Moral Maze some months later it went something like this...

Dunblane Father "Handguns should be banned because that's what the people want. MPs should listen to the people and vote to ban handguns."
Show host "what about the death penalty?
DF "That's a matter of concience for the MPs."
Show host "But public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of the return of the death penalty. Why shouldn't MPs listen to the public and do what the public want?"
DF "Well, er it's a matter of concience."
SH "But you want the MPs to do want the public want."
DF "er er er"
SH "What do you think would be a suitable punishment for Thomas Hamilton, had he not committed suicide?"
DF "He's dead, it's a hypothetical question. I don't have to answer that question."
SH "This programme is called the Moral Maze and the whole point of it is to answer hypothetical questions."
DF "er er er"



Show host,"If Thomas Hamilton hadnt' committed suicide should we bring back the death penalty for him?
 
#14
I don't know if it was a conspiracy or just sheer incompetance, but the authorities allowed Hamilton to keep firearms when anyone with a double figure IQ could have worked out that this was a Bad Idea.
I would to think that the fiscal, police etc would be punished for failing in their duty to protect the public.
But I'm not going to hold my breath.
 
#15
One of the most insidious conspiracy theories I've heard in relation to both Hamilton and Ryan (of Hungerford infamy) is that they were allowed to retain weapons against obvious evidence in the belief that they would eventually do something terrible enough that it could be used as justification for prohibition.
It seems insane but then consider the amount of high-profile airgun related crimes that have come to light recently where the criminal had a long history of misusing airguns yet the police ignored it. Now we have a considerable media campaign for a ban or at least restrictions.
 
#16
MrPVRd said:
I heard a credible tinfoil hat theory that involved one or two (now very senior) coppers willing to turn a blind eye to Hamilton's activities because he "knew" some people they "knew". Not so much a paedophile conspiracy (the wackiest one has UK participation in the Iraq war arising from Bliar's complicity in a paedo ring) but a more mundane story of institutional corruption.
Slightly more credible than the rest, perhaps, but still not "revealed by the secret documents". I doubt it myself.

A more likely theory is that a senior policeman didn't refuse his FAC, because Hamilton had proven himself to be an "effective" complainer. A policeman had been kept off the beat for some time while allegations made by Hamilton were investigated and proven false.

The theory was that the senior policeman concerned thought it would be easier to let Hamilton keep his FAC until something could be proven against him (after all, what harm could it do), than for a small force to lose another man-year or two of effort to his lies.

As I understand it, not just one, but two clubs contacted the police concerning his fitness to hold firearms. Never ascribe to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence... :(
 

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