Over recent days, a number of reports have appeared across the media following an incident in Camden on Thursday, 17 July. Responding to the incident, Commander Kyle Gordon, the Met’s Lead for Firearms said:
“There have been a number of well publicised shootings in London in recent months where members of the public have been injured, and as the public would rightly expect we take every report of a firearm seriously in order to protect our communities.
“A member of the public called us because they told us they saw a gun, and a BB gun was recovered. Officers attending reports such as this must treat them as genuine until they can verify whether or not an actual firearm is present. Based on the information at hand the officers acted in line with their training and my expectations, enabling the incident to be concluded as quickly and safely as possible.
“I have personally watched Body Worn Video of the incident and whilst I can understand concerns in terms of how the incident has been reported in some quarters, I am content from what I have seen that the officers were professional throughout and took time to explain to the residents what was happening and why. The reporting member of the public was right to call us and we would encourage others who see similar weapons to do the same. We are committed to bearing down on violence and we rely on our communities to help us do this.”
Police were notified that a member of the public had seen a male with a handgun at a residential address in Somers Town, NW1.
In order to ensure the safety of the public the Met’s Armed Response Vehicles attended the address to make enquiries.
A male in the property was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and detained in a police vehicle nearby, whilst other residents were escorted out of the property in order for the firearms officers to conduct a search to ensure everyone’s safety.
In the process of this search, officers located the reported item and verified that it was a ‘BB’ gun and not a viable firearm. This ‘BB’ gun was similar in size and shape to a viable handgun, with the only difference being a ‘blue slide’ at the top.
The officers immediately de-arrested the youth and he, and the other members of the family, returned into their address.
Following the incident, a senior officer from the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command contacted the family and has spoken to them about the incident and listened to their concerns.