Yard alert over gun club raids

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Senior Scotland Yard officers will discuss gun club security after the theft of 20 rifles, handguns and ammunition from Hampton Rifle Club.

In the second big gun burglary in a fortnight, thieves escaped undetected at the weekend after using a lorry to pull down a wall in west London.

The raiders gained access to the Oldfield Road premises from Upper Sunbury Road, crossing Thames Water land after forcing gates.

They used a flat-top lorry with an attached hydraulic lift to remove three safes, each weighing up to 2 tons.

The side wall collapsed after a hole was punched through

it and a chain bar, attached to

the lorry, was inserted. In all,

20 small bore weapons and 1,500 ammunition rounds were taken.

Sir Paul Condon, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, last week declared war on gun crime in his annual report.

Only days before, a running gun battle in Putney left an armed robber dead and a policeman wounded.

On 23 July burglars trussed up a club official at Mayfair Gun Club in Druid Street, Bermondsey, and stole 60 handguns, ammunition and members' passports.

That haul was officially valued at pounds 20,000 but detectives believe the guns would fetch more on the black market. The club offered a pounds 5,000 reward for information.

John Hoare, secretary of the National Small Bore Rifle Association, said: 'Our concern is that the sort of firearms stolen over the weekend are of absolutely no use to criminals. They were target rifles.

On security, he said: 'If you look at what happened at Hampton . . . I think that shows there was adequate security.

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