24 April, 2024
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New South Wales top cop under pressure on police gun safety policies


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Gun safety processes within the NSW Police force are being reviewed after the alleged double murder of a Sydney couple by an officer using his police-issued firearm.

Police confirmed the bodies of Jesse Baird, 26, and Luke Davies, 29, were located inside surf bags at the fence line of a rural property in Bungonia near Goulburn.

Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, 28, is behind bars after being charged with murdering the couple more than a week ago at Mr Baird’s Paddington home in Sydney.

 Karen Webb says the use of a police firearm in a double murder “can never happen again”. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

Lamarre-Condon is accused of using his police-issued firearm to shoot both men before transporting their bodies to the rural area.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb has faced questions on police procedures relating to gun safety.

“We’re in this position that a police firearm was used and that can never happen again,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“So we’ve got to look to ways to mitigate that risk in whatever way we can.”

 Relatives arrive at a rural property where the bodies of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies were found. Image by Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS 

Following the discovery of the couple’s bodies, AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon issued a statement.

Mr Baird recently acted as an umpire for AFL and VFL games.

“Jesse will be fondly remembered for his vibrant, fun-loving personality, his professionalism and his commitment to the next generation of young umpires,” Mr Dillon said.

“The entire AFL family extend our deepest sympathies to both Jesse and Luke’s families as well as our umpiring and broader team during this very difficult time.”

Mr Dillon said the AFL would work with Mr Baird’s family on a suitable tribute.

 The bodies of Luke Davies and Jesse Baird were found at a rural property at Bungonia. Image by HANDOUT/NSW POLICE, STUDIO 10 

A critical incident was declared following the alleged murders, meaning it will be investigated by police internally and reviewed by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

Ms Webb said a senior officer from Victoria Police would also be commissioned to conduct a review of NSW Police systems relating to guns.

“Victoria Police, simply by its size, the nature of their policing responsibility and the type of policing operations they conduct and some lessons they’ve learned, I think we can learn from them,” she said.

Asked if more safeguards were needed in relation to police accessing firearms, Ms Webb agreed.

“We don’t want this to happen again, we need to understand how this happened,” she said.

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