British cops who returned the gun mass shooter Jake Davison used to slaughter five people last week admitted they never scoped out his social media first — claiming it would have been an invasion of privacy to do so.
If they had bothered to look, authorities in the town of Plymouth would have likely seen Davison’s apparent obsession with gun videos on YouTube, and his infatuation with one of the UK’s most deadly shootings, the 1987 massacre in Hungerford.
Davison’s gun and license were taken in December 2020 after he was accused of assault three months earlier. They were returned to him last month.
On Thursday, he killed his own mother before opening fire on four others, including a 3-year-old girl, and then turning the pump-action shotgun on himself.
But reviewing Davison’s angry posts and videos, in which he compared himself to Arnold Schwarzenegger character “The Terminator” and whined that he was “getting uglier” and was “defeated by life,” would have been inappropriate, the local police chief proclaimed.
Devon and Cornwall Deputy Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer admitted that cops didn’t bother scoping out Davison’s Internet activities before giving back the weapon, according to The Sun.
“We take and return firearms on a not irregular basis when people have emotional crises or we receive reports from family members, then they can be returned,” Sawyer said. “What we don’t do, because firearms licensing is a lawful thing, is trawl the internet looking at people’s lives. That’s an invasion of privacy.”
One local politician slammed the police for prioritizing privacy over protection.
“It’s a matter of public record. It’s a misunderstanding of social media to suggest it would be invading their privacy,” Tory MP Tim Loughton said.
Nazir Azfal, a former top prosecutor for the Crown, said Davison should have been on a police watch list. Davison, he said, was “exactly the type of person the authorities should be keeping an eye on.”
Authorities said Saturday they are probing why Davison was given back his confiscated gun and gun license in July.