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Cumbria coroner criticises 999 crews

The coroner at the inquest into Derrick Bird's shooting rampage has raised concerns over a lack of communication between the police and ambulance service that led to paramedics being held back from casualty scenes. West Cumbria Coroner David Roberts said he would write to the Government on the issue.

On 2 June last year, Bird, left, killed 12 people on a 45-mile rampage in his car. The 52-year-old taxi driver then turned the rifle on himself.

After the jury recorded verdicts of suicide for Bird and unlawful killings on each of his 12 victims, Mr Roberts said the police airwave system had nearly collapsed. Ambulance crews refused to attend scenes until areas were declared safe as they followed their health and safety protocol, but Cumbria Constabulary were unaware of the guidelines. Mr Roberts said Bird's victims died "almost immediately" but had they not, there may have been fatal delays in treating them.