Guns go missing on way to police station after man's death on Isle of Dogs
PUBLISHED: 09:01 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:53 13 April 2017
Police have lost a consignment of unmodified antique firearms which went missing after a 70-year-old man died in east London, Scotland Yard has confirmed today.
Officers came across several unmodified ornamental guns used as decorative items at the man’s home at Mast House Terrace in Millwall, on the Isle of Dogs—but then appear to have lost one of the boxes containing six unmodified weapons, it has emerged.
Officers had been called to the address by the Ambulance Service late in the evening of Christmas Day, after callers got no response. The man’s death was not suspicious.
But what happened to part of his collection of 30 antique handguns and rifles is a mystery now being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, after the incident was referred to them by the Met’s own Directorate of Professional Standards.
The guns went missing dead somewhere between Mast House Terrace and Limehouse police station just a mile-and-a-half away, the same night the man was found dead at his home, the East London Advertiser has learned.
“It is of great concern that they went missing in the first place and that they have not yet been found,” associate commissioner Tom Milsom, in charge if the IPCC investigation, said.
“This investigation will look at what went wrong in allowing the items to go missing and what efforts were made to find them once the officers realised they had gone.”
The antique and replica firearms were rendered safe while preparations were being made to take them to the police station.
But officers were unable to find one of the boxes later that night which may have containing six weapons.
The collection—described as antique, replica and art—was declared safe and packaged for removal by a crime scene examiner, to be taken for storage by two constables.
An IPCC spokesman told the Advertiser: “We understand the officers realised a box with six guns was missing when they took the weapons into the station for processing—these remain unaccounted for.”
Efforts were made by the officers to trace the missing box, but were unsuccessful. Now the independent investigation is looking into the police handling and transportation of the firearms and the actions officers took to locate the missing items.
The weapons used as decorative items at the man’s home were not modified imitation rifles.
Police are making an appeal for anyone with information to call Tower Hamlets CID on 020-8217 3722, via Twitter @MetCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111.