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Farmer tells dog walkers to 'mind their own business' after armed police called to farm

Armed police were called to a farm in Surrey after a dog walker saw a farmer firing a gun. 

 

 



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He alerted a nearby primary school after running away from the farm on Monday morning (June 12).

 

The man reportedly panicked and raised the alarm with the school’s receptionist, who called the police.

 

Armed officers entered Fairchildes Primary School, as well as the adjacent secondary school, Meridan High.

 

Pupils and staff at both schools were kept indoors with the doors locked for around an hour while officers from both Surrey Police and the Metropolitan Police investigated.

 

They found the shots to have been legally fired from a lawfully owned gun on private land.

 

The farmer, Paul Lovell, 43, who was shooting for sport on the farm at the time and has shot there for 12 years, said the situation was "blown out of proportion" and the response "seemed a bit excessive".


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He told the Surrey Mirror: "What happened was quite concerning both from my point of view and from the parents' point of view. People are saying that I pointed the gun at the dog walker, which is just not true – I don't recall seeing anyone on the farm while I was out there.

 

"If you are walking onto a farm you have to expect to see guns, as much as you'd expect to see a pint of beer being poured when you walk into a pub."

 

The father-of-three said people are probably on their guard more than usual after the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.

 

He said: "Being approached by the police is all part and parcel of owning a gun, but it was an eye opener this time because it seems that everyone is more alert after the terror attacks.

 

No-one has raised the alarm on me before those happened and I have been shooting locally for years."

 

He added that he will now contact both schools before going shooting each time and is urging dog walkers to "mind their own business" and stick to designated footpaths when they enter private land.

 

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Police were called at 11.26am on Monday, June 12 to reports of shots fired on land off Fairchildes Avenue.

 

"Officers attended and carried out enquiries and found the shots were legally fired from a lawfully owned firearm. London Ambulance Service attended as a precaution but no injuries were reported. No offences were disclosed. Officers gave the all clear at 12.16pm."

Farmers Guardian - Take the Lead campaign

Farmers Guardian - Take the Lead campaign

Farmers Guardian is taking the lead by raising awareness among the British public about livestock worrying and speaking up for our readers’ concerns.

 

What we are doing

  • FG is working with leading farming and rural organisations to raise awareness of livestock worrying and reduce the number of dog attacks
  • We are targeting dog, lifestyle and countryside magazines to raise the importance of the issue which costs businesses millions of pounds each year and leaves farmers devastated
  • We have produced signs for farmers to put up around their fields which will be sent out with copies of Farmers Guardian on April 11. In the meantime, a downloadable poster to warn walkers of the consequences of livestock worrying is available now on our website
  • FG will be speaking about the issue to 10,000 people at the Just Dogs Live show at the Peterborough arena this summer and will also be giving out free signs at the major agricultural shows
  • In conjunction with our partners BVA and NSA, we will spread the message through social media and the national and regional press, both print and broadcast

Follow and support the campaign on twitter with #FGtakethelead

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