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Police helicopter called out after reports of man with an air rifle in Lichfield

Police have reassured Lichfield residents after they were called to reports of a man carrying a firearm in fields near Eastern Avenue.

A number of people contacted The Lichfield Blog about the presence of the Staffordshire Police helicopter yesterday evening (October 12).

Officers have now revealed that the man was carrying an air rifle – and the had the necessary paperwork for it.

A police spokesperson did, however, confirm that he was given advice on carrying his air rifle in a public place.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

12 Comments

  1. BrownhillsBob

    13th October, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Great use of public resources there, then…

  2. Nedge

    13th October, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Great use of a keyboard there, then Bob…

  3. Asellus aquaticus

    13th October, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Always easy to have a pop at the police there Bob, but if the reports of “a man carrying a firearm” had turned out to be another Raoul Moat/Derrick Bird type situation, and the police hadn’t taken it seriously, I think there would have been rather more cause for complaint.

  4. Jonny

    13th October, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I agree with Bob.
    Man in fields with Rifle? He’s obviously going to be Rabbit hunting.
    If he was walking through a housing Estate with a gun i’d be concerned.
    Doesn’t that chopper cost 1500 quid an hour in the air?

    chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-

    “Put Down ze Pellet Gun and Show us Ze Papers”

  5. BrownhillsBob

    13th October, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Oh, come off it. Lichfield is surrounded by open countryside – if the fuzz react like this every time somebody was seen with a gun we’d be under permanent lockdown.

    There’s a question of proportionate response – by all means call in everyone at your disposal once you’ve checked there’s a definite threat, not just a chancer shooting rabbits.

    There are a whole range of options between doing nothing and scrambling a police helicopter at tens of thousands for every scramble.

    Best wishes

    Bob

  6. Joyce Meadow

    13th October, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Bloody hell I walk me dog up there , thankgod I didnt bump into him !!

  7. Freddy

    13th October, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    To be fair to the police, the headline’s wrong, they came to reports of a man with a firearm, they only found out it was an air rifle after flying about in a helicopter for a bit.

    Why they got a helicopter out because someone told them there was a man in a field with a gun isn’t clear. Maybe they’re big Apocalypse Now fans and “Death From Above” is stencilled on the side of the helicopter.

    Farmers beware.

  8. Asellus aquaticus

    14th October, 2010 at 9:28 am

    The helicopter spent a great deal of the time hovering over the housing estate, so they obviously didn’t have clear information just to look in the fields. With that in mind when is a response “proportionate”?
    My kid was out playing with his friends under where the helicopter was circling. Given that we’ve had two high profile mass murderers in the UK this year who elicited a police response by starting to shoot people, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

  9. Freddy

    14th October, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    It’s worse than it first looks then Asellus aquaticus. After reports of a man in fields they went flying around a housing estate for a bit.

    You’re right though. Two people out of 60+million have gone batshit with guns this year in the UK so fear, panic and helicopters are the only way forward.

  10. Asellus aquaticus

    18th October, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    “Two people out of 60+million have gone batshit with guns this year in the UK so fear, panic and helicopters are the only way forward”

    That is a fair point Freddy, and I stand suitably deflated.

    But I suppose I’m just trying to say it’s easy to attack police decisions without actually knowing upon what information and intelligence they were basing their decisions. If it was just a report of “man in field with gun”, then I absolutely agree with you and Bob that it’s a very expensive over-reaction. However, if (for example) they had prior knowledge of a potential unstable local gun happy nutter, together with several reports of “man on housing estate brandishing rifle” I’d want a pretty fast and effective police response.

    I don’t know upon what they based their decision to launch the helicopter, or why they spent so long over the housing estate, and neither I suspect do most of the posters here. So meanwhile, in the absence of any more informed information, I’m not going to jump on the all too easy “lets slag off the police” bandwagon.

  11. Freddy

    18th October, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Erm, read the article. “Police have reassured Lichfield residents after they were called to reports of a man carrying a firearm in fields near Eastern Avenue.”

    As Bob said. “Great use of public resources there, then… “

  12. Asellus aquaticus

    19th October, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Yeah, but I think you’ll find that when the police issue a press release, they aren’t obliged to automatically divulge their entire back catalogue of intelligence.

    Bob said “Lichfield is surrounded by open countryside – if the fuzz react like this every time somebody was seen with a gun we’d be under permanent lockdown”. But it seems that they don’t always react like this, so why did they this time? As I said, you could both well be right that it was an overreaction, but there are other alternatives. Is it not possible that they actually had a good reason for hovering over the estate that they didn’t want to release? Or do you have reliable information that the pilot was a bit bored that day and decided to waste fuel just for the sake of it?

    I’m not attempting to scaremonger, or suggest that there is something to worry about in that neighbourhood, I’m just pointing out that press releases don’t always tell the whole story…