A salutary warning over visiting sites and collecting bits and bobs.

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13 years 3 months

Posts: 8,847

see

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-29234314

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11101639/WW1-machine-gun-found-in-mans-garage.html

Lol probably deactivated and legal, not exactly a dug up find that one, is it. Anyone we know?

Of course while it may be illegal to plunder our Historical heritage sites, one could mention the Elgin Marbles and half of Eygpt's history dotted around the Uk's Museums in and outside the Capital, I wonder if they are taking that to task with such gusto, I suppose it is OK for the UK to plunder everyone elses Heritage?

..

Original post

Member for

13 years 3 months

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One neighbour, living further along the street, said "He's a very nice man and I know he's been collecting things for years, but I understood he always took the pins out before bringing them back."

Took the pins out? That has to be the quote of the year!

I must commend the Police on their approach to crime prevention; I feel certain that this collector can look forward to a break-in in the very near future!

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13 years 3 months

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I thought exactly the very same thing, why let the press photograph what is inside his property, up until those images were shown you had visions of a few bits of rusty metal..

Profile picture for user TwinOtter23

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13 years 11 months

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I wonder if he knew someone in North Yorkshire?

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14 years 2 months

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Something is very strange about this news,none of the items appear dug up. The collection looks typical of de activated and replica weapons collections which many in the UK have. The only items of contention would be actual weapons live without a firearms permit.

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7 years

Posts: 901

I think the problem is;

"arrested on suspicion of stealing items from a former prisoner of war camp."

Profile picture for user XF940

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12 years

Posts: 348

The Police always over-react when anything that looks like a firearm or 'bomb' is concerned.

When I applied for my S2 SGC I made sure I 'hid' my several legally deactivated and owned pistols and my L2A3 SMG (especially as they are all pre-95 old-spec) but forgot my nice 18 pounder shell that sits in the hall - which the plod commented on when he came to inspect my security ... "hope that's not live" and "why do you have that?". I bit my tongue as I was going to tell him to mind his own bloody business and do the job he'd come for, but resisted.

The press don't help as they never comment where 'firearms' have been found that are legally deactivated and strictly speaking are no longer considered a firearm.

Profile picture for user Junk Collector

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13 years 5 months

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I would take it with a pinch of salt, the Police love to parade weapons about without disclosing to the press they are deactivated. Even with the certificates they will seize them for forensic examination, and pressure the owner to hand them over for destruction.

As for the munitions, bomb disposal usually just blow it up no matter what.

This sensationalist leaking to the press by the Police is wrong, and can prejudice a right to a fair trial, but they repeatedly do it. However when photographs of the Police's misdoings are leaked, they go nuts.

This was best illustrated by the appalling case against Mick Shepherd in Kent. He was a legitimate licensed firearms dealer, mainly in antique guns. He was cleared by his own Police firearms officer on a regular inspection, then shortly after with the press all dragged down to show off to, by the Met he was raided. The Police paraded down the street carrying weapons in clear bags down the road in full view of the press. He had valuable antiques individually locked, they wouldn't let him unlock them and cut them all free with a disc cutter damaging many of them.

He spent a year on remand, in Belmarsh Prison as a high security prisoner and his trial was a farce and he was acquitted, this was due to a desperate Operation Trident, they refused to hand back his property, probably due to the claim they would receive for damage. I have heard of many successful claims for compensation following cases like this, which have had to be paid after they had destroyed or damaged what had been seized. These claims are not publicised particularly when the Police have had to pay, one case I know of was £20 000.

If he has been playing with Unexploded Ordinance he deserves to have the book thrown at him, but these type of raids are regular, and leaking to the press is a normal matter of course, fundamentally wrong in my view.

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8 years 9 months

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Well if he took a pin out of a grenade this would have been a non story seizing weapons. Don't forget EOD have nothing to do until Islamic State get here apart from blowing up the odd unattended case! The Police are like frightened jack rabbits in these situations.

Profile picture for user Bruce

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20 years

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Odd, he is supposed to have recovered weapons from a POW camp in Batford. I spent a lot of time in Batford in my youth, and knew nothing about it. I wonder just how many weapons would have been in a POW camp on any case...

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10 years

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I wonder if he knew someone in North Yorkshire?

That person I understand is out on a good boy license and is down south somewhere as he is not permitted to return
currently to his mothers old house and the place where the incidents he was locked up for took place.

A good bit of his stuff was seized and locked up by the crash and smash team from the MOD as he apparently
did not have much in the way of permits or licenses to recover and some of the stuff he had that had deactivation
certificates for had in fact been re activated. Some of his stuff did not get seized and apparently
disapeared to places elsewhere I know some of his cockpits got re allocated or sold and we where offered two of
them including a Vampire but believe this ended up being scrapped because he wanted silly money.
It would be nice to know what happened to the rest of the Wellington stuff he had to go with the stuff
at East Kirkby as it would go a long way to 60-70% of a whole aircraft being available for a rebuild project.

Besides the other allegations against him some of it was very scary apparently live explosives etc.

I dont know the full details so dont think I will comment further but sadly there are some rather less
than honest individuals still lurking aorund the artifacts world as thefts from museums and collections
in the uk during the last twelve months proves.

Mike E

Profile picture for user Anon

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12 years

Posts: 2,842

The St. Albans case sounds like a gross over-reaction to me.

He probably had de-ac certificates for the guns and the bombs safe. He looks like a chap who would do things properly. I mean, why would he want to have live ordnance in the family home? It looks like he knows what he's about.

EOD and the police don't get many "finds" this big (not since the days of the IRA, etc) and I bet their eyes gleam when one comes in. They get to put on all that black clobber and look professional - along with their pictures in the papers carrying the stuff to the van.

I may be wrong but I bet this guy's just a collector for his own amusement. Of course he's not going to shout about his collection for the reason that things like what has just happened to him take place at the drop of a hat if the police suspect anything at all.

Right, better brace the windows and doors and wait for a plod reprisal raid for letting their secrets out.

Utter bo****ks.

Anon.

Profile picture for user Lazy8

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7 years 9 months

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The various reports can't even reach a consensus on whether the arrested man is 46 or 48. I'd treat any of the rest with a great deal of caution. But knowing nothing else about this (other than that I have a friend living round the corner) I can't help wondering if there's something here we're not being told. If you look at the video on the BBC site, there do appear to be one or two items that look as if they've been dug up. The rest looks very well cared for indeed. Time Team has told me that in the right conditions you can find long-buried things very well preserved, but that it's pretty rare. And I'm with Bruce - digging up weapons and munitions in an old PoW camp? Really? Are you sure?

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20 years

Posts: 1,707

I'd agree. Other than a few .303s and the odd pistol in the guard room what ordnance did a POW camp need?

I'm also highly suspicious of the police's actions in these cases. A friend has recently been tried for having an old weapon, given to him as a souvenir many years ago which he thought to be deact. It wasn't, and a dawn police raid to seize it occurred, due to some sort of local political shenanigans. All very sus.

Profile picture for user John Aeroclub

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13 years 6 months

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The Vickers Machine Gun as shown could be bought in that condition and fully deactivated for around £300 pre 1995. They had some in my local antique arms shop. As I looked at it I could just hear my wife saying "and just where will you put it".

John

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13 years 3 months

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I get the explosions were just a precaution rather than examining them fully and I bet they were all inert, it does seem like totally OTT and a get out clause over the OTT approach.

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6 years 11 months

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As I understand it, the POW camp in Batford was next to where the allotments are now (and presumably were before), it's all built up around there now. I'm with everyone else, what exactly is there to find? A bit of rusted barbed wire? I've never knowingly looked over the exact site, but did spend a year or two 'over the river' from there. I just can't see there is anything there other than spuds and runner beans.

Profile picture for user TwinOtter23

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13 years 11 months

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The contents of the link provided by ZRX61 in post #13 make interesting reading; because from the interviews that it contains it indicates that this was not just a Police operation!

Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years 3 months

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A fascinating but disturbing thread to which I am only a disinterested visitor, but it all appears to reflect very poorly on the police as do other examples cited. What is their game? They seem to spend more time in non-criminal activity than criminal activity.

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13 years 8 months

Posts: 3,778

Again the Police crash in and name names before they do the research on what they have found, if all deact and certificated there was no crime committed The protection of military remains I though only covered the likes of crashed aircraft, ships etc not maybe a stash by the Home Guard.

I do not know the full extent of what has really gone on as the press are the press and as is said, there is nothing like the truth to spoil a good story but from what I read from another poster above he knows something?
This stinks if its a legal collector as the Police could have knocked on the door and asked to see the collection, I am guessing many people visiting this forum will now be awaiting a for the front door to be smashed in.
If this guy has stolen or illegal arms then he will most probably get a stay in a nice hotel with some lovely clientele and shouts of don't drop the soap ! If he is completely innocent I would like to see whoever set this raid up sacked and named publicly.
There are a lot of high profile cases been, going on and soon to happen, a lot of people will have their life destroyed in the press for false allegations, others have destroyed their own lives through getting up to no good, cant do the time, don't do the crime but within this story could be someone who really did not know they had done anything wrong, now lets wait and hopefully see an official end without speculation upon the person concerned as it must be decided within a court of law.