IPCC independently investigating Surrey Police decision to return firearms to John Lowe
October 29, 2014, 1:11 pm
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is independently investigating the decision of Surrey Police to return licensed guns to a man who went on to kill two women.
In February, Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy Lee were fatally shot by John Lowe, who was convicted of their murder at Guildford Crown Court.
Following the shooting Surrey Police referred their prior contact with Mr Lowe to the IPCC. This contact involved the seizure of a number of licensed shotguns from Mr Lowe in March 2013, which were returned to him in July 2013.
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At this stage, the IPCC decided to carry out a supervised investigation led by Surrey Police who commissioned reviews from firearms licensing experts at Hampshire Constabulary and North Yorkshire Police. The investigation looked into Surrey Polices decision to return the firearms. The reviews from the supervised investigation were completed in September and identified potential gross misconduct issues.
As a result the IPCC is now carrying out an independent investigation. Surrey Police has already issued misconduct notices to three Surrey Police staff members.
IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said:
“Two women have tragically lost their lives, and their family and friends deserve to know the circumstances in which the guns were returned to Mr Lowe. It also is in the interests of the wider public that Surrey Polices decision-making in these circumstances is independently scrutinised.”