Last Friday the chair of the Devon and Cornwall Crime Panel, Councillor Roger Croad, made a remark suggesting that “you should arm them with sawn off shot guns” in a discussion about placing voluntary parking attendants in the community.
The meeting of the committee that oversees the work of the local Police Commissioner was being held in Plymouth City Council’s chamber and took place on the three month anniversary of the shooting.
Luke Pollard MP wrote a letter to Councillor Croad calling the remarks “inappropriate and distressful” after the events of the tragic shooting and invited him to visit Keyham see the work being done to heal and strengthen the community.
The committee that Cllr Croad chairs is likely to play a significant part in what comes next in the results of the Police Watchdog’s inquiry in Devon and Cornwall Police about their issuing, removal and then return of the killer’s gun certificate.
In a Facebook post Luke concluded:
We can all get our words wrong, but that’s why apologising and making amends for it immediately is so important. I am disappointed that Councillor Roger Croad chose to make this crass joke, but was pleased the Police Commissioner called him out on it. I hope Councillor Croad will now take me up on my offer to visit Keyham and Ford so he can understand why making jokes about guns in Plymouth is not helpful nor beneficial to the community. I also hope he makes a formal apology at the next Police and Crime Panel.
I am continuing to work with local councillors, the City Council, Police and health services to support the community and I’m hopeful we will soon have good news about funding for schools and young people which is my priority. I won’t let this councillor’s stupid joke distract me from supporting our community.