It’s a shame that the Daily Telegraph’s Simon Heffer, a stickler for accuracy amongst his colleagues, doesn’t apply the same high standards to his own columns.
In today’s effort he claims that: “Several readers have told me in recent days of police in the West Country stopping 4×4s at dusk in case there are people in them with shotguns in the boot, after a day’s shooting, who might possibly be over the alcohol limit, and therefore drunk in charge of a firearm (this includes passengers, by the way). No drunk passenger is going to kill anyone: meanwhile, guns are bought and sold freely in pubs by criminals without police interference. Is it any wonder the middle classes now despise Mr Plod so?”
Hmm … unfortunately this is bollocks. The “several readers” were obviously in receipt of a viral email that did the rounds in the shooting community several weeks ago, and was quickly declared a hoax by Devon police and acknowledged as such on the website of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation on December 2.
Come on, Simon. Must try harder.