A police chief who suggested gun owners might be able to act as armed civilians in a terror attack, has survived a vote of no confidence. Devon and Cornwall Police warned armed civilians should not tackle terrorists after the comments made by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alison Hernandez on a BBC phone-in in June.The vote, held by the Police and Crime Panel, the body which scrutinises her, was defeated by eight to two.Ms Hernandez apologised afterwards.She said: “The reality is I do not believe in vigilantism. I apologise if anyone felt I had a different view”.The vote was proposed by Plymouth councillor Sam Davey, who described Ms Hernandez’s original comments as ‘ill-judged” and “rather silly”.
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A vote of no confidence in Ms Hernandez was passed by Plymouth City Council four days earlier.She suffered a further blow at the meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on Friday when members refused to appoint her proposed deputy PCC, Mark Kingscote.
Timeline of events12 June: Alison Hernandez tells BBC Radio Cornwall she will look into the idea of armed civilians acting in the vent of a terrorist attack.
13 June: Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton from Devon and Cornwall Police says it is “definitely an emphatic ‘no'” that people should be arming themselves against such a threat.
Alison Hernandez releases a statement saying her comments have been misinterpreted.
3 July: Plymouth City Council passes a vote of no confidence in her.
4 July: Ms Hernandez releases a statement saying the result “will not detract her from representing the views of the public”.
7 July: At the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel’s meeting it refuses to appoint Mark Kingscote as deputy PCC, who had been proposed by Alison Hernandez.
The panel holds a vote of no confidence, which is defeated.
Source: Cornish BBC