Plymouth shooting: Police serve third misconduct notice over Jake Davison's gun licence

Police forensic officers investigating the Davison shooting Credit: PA

A third staff member at Devon and Cornwall Police has been served a misconduct notice as part of an investigation into the Plymouth shootings.

Jake Davison, 22, killed his mother Maxine Davison, 51, at her home in Plymouth before going outside and shooting dead four people he did not know in a 12-minute attack.

His other victims were Lee Martyn, 43, and his three-year-old daughter Sophie Martyn, 59-year-old Stephen Washington and 66-year-old Kate Shepherd.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) is investigating decisions made by Devon and Cornwall Police in relation to gunman Jake Davison's possession of a firearm.

The force returned the apprentice crane operator's shotgun and shotgun certificate in July last year after he admitted assaulting two youths in a park in Plymouth.

Earlier in the year, one member of police staff and one police officer were handed misconduct notices.

Today (December 9), the IOPC revealed it has issued a third individual with a notice.

"The employee, who has been served a gross misconduct notice, is part of the force’s Firearms Licensing Department and was involved in granting a shotgun certificate to Jake Davison in 2017," the IOPC said.

The police watchdog also revealed they have taken a statement from a man who says he was assaulted by Jake Davison outside a supermarket in Plymouth, and reported it to police.

The IOPC said: "We are examining what action police took following the report and whether their response was appropriate."

Tributes for the victims of the mass shooting. Credit: ITV News

The watchdog says its investigation is now nearing completion.

A preliminary report was given to the coroner at a pre-inquest review held in Plymouth today.

During the management hearing at Plymouth Coroners’ Court, senior coroner Ian Arrow said he has split the inquest into two - with one examining the deaths of the victims and a second looking at Davison's death.

Today's hearing for the five victims heard Davison's GP had been contacted by the coroner's court but declined to give some information because he "did not feel he was in a position to be qualified to comment on the personality of a patient to say whether or not they were safe to hold a gun licence".

The inquest has been adjourned until March 15 next year.

Speaking in response to the IOPC report, Assistant Chief Constable Jim Nye said: “Our thoughts remain with the families and loved-ones of those who were killed and all those affected by this tragic incident.

“The force continues to fully co-operate with the IOPC investigation.

“We acknowledge that the IOPC has now served two staff members with gross misconduct notices and a police officer with a misconduct notice in relation to their involvement with Jake Davison. The force is supporting my staff through this process.

“Such notices advise individuals that their conduct is subject to investigation, but it does not mean that disciplinary proceedings will necessarily follow.”

As well as the inquest and the IOPC investigation, The National Police Chiefs Council is also leading an investigation - in conjunction with the local police and crime commissioner - into the force’s firearms policies and procedures.

Commenting on the IOPC investigation, MP Luke Pollard said the community is now "one step closer" to getting the answers it needs.

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

He added: "People in Keyham and Ford need to know why the killer was issued with a gun certificate, why it was removed and why his firearm was returned to him.

"The victims’ families and our community need to know how and why this tragedy happened so we can seek changes in the law to stop another shooting like this ever happening again."