Op Crosshair – Safeguarding operation sees firearms seized

Officers conducted a safeguarding operation – Op Crosshair – over the weekend.

It was the second such operation conducted by Cumbria Police this summer, with the first being a national as well as Cumbrian first.

Op Crosshair – Cumbria takes the lead with safeguarding operation – Cumbria Constabulary

Op Crosshair sees specialist officers attending the addresses of firearms certificate holders to check they are adhering to the strict terms of their firearms certificate and that they do not present a risk to the public safety.

The addresses chosen for Op Crosshair visits are identified as a result of intelligence received regarding potential firearms certificate breaches, as well as association with illegal drug use.

The officers attended the addresses and, as well as checking the firearms were present and correctly and safely stored, they also carried out drugs wipe checks with certificate holders to ensure their judgement and self-control is not impaired through illegal substance misuse/ensure they did not present a danger to the public safety.

At the weekend, five addresses were visited.

Of those, three certificate-holders passed drugs wipes, with no further causes of concern identified.

At one address in the Kendal area, the certificate holder failed a drug wipe. As a result, three shotguns and ammunition were seized along with the certificate.

At another address in the Cartmel area, the certificate holder passed the drugs wipe but was found to be in breach of the terms of his firearms certificate on multiple counts, including storing firearms insecurely. As a result, firearms and shotguns were seized.

Cumbria Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Blackwell: “In the United Kingdom we have strict laws and regulations around gun ownership, which is why it is important that steps are taken to ensure that those trusted to be in possession of a firearm are abiding by the strict terms of the firearms certificate they hold, as well as conducting themselves in a manner that does not give rise to concerns that they are not suitable to hold such a certificate.

“In Cumbria there are over 10,000 legally-held firearms certificates, and it is important to make clear that the overwhelming majority – including the many who require a certificate as part of their working life – take their responsibilities as firearms certificate holders seriously and responsibly.

“Operation Crosshair will not involve engagement with all firearms certificate holders, or even random selection, but will instead continue to be intelligence-led, focusing on individuals where there are concerns regarding potential firearms certificate breaches.

“Operations will continue to take place in the coming weeks and months. As such, firearms certificate holders are urged to take steps today to ensure they are fully compliant with the terms of their certificate, including ensuring all firearms are properly registered, accounted for and safely secured.”


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