Former crime chief found with live ammo at his home
A former crime chief in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire will not face prosecution despite being found with ammunition at his home he did not have a licence for.
Jason Ablewhite resigned as police and crime commissioner in November 2019 after he allegedly sent an explicit photo to a woman on Facebook.
This prompted an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct which led to the discovery of live ammunition found at his home.
A second investigation - named Operation Orava - was then carried out which recently concluded that “there was an indication that a criminal offence may have been committed”.
However, the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to take no further action.
The live ammo was discovered in November 2019 by police officers during a search of Mr Ablewhite’s home.
The IOPC report states: “During the search, a ‘small box containing various size spent and live ammunition’ was seized from a locked cabinet in one of the rooms.”
Mr Ablewhite has held a shotgun certificate since December 2016, but the four bulleted cartridges required a separate firearms certificate.
According to the IOPC, during a criminal interview in January 2020 Mr Ablewhite “explained he had a shotgun certificate since the age of 15. Between 1990 and 1993 he regularly attended gun club where they shot clay pigeons and skeet with a shotgun.
“They would then go to the pistol range in the evening and use calibre .22, .38, .45 Magnum and 9 millimetre ammunition on a regular basis to shoot targets”.
Mr Ablewhite is said to have explained that it was “not uncommon that ammunition and unspent cartridges would be left in the shooting vest he wore. It was also not unusual to take ammunition home”.
He is reported to have said that the ammo found at his home would have been paid for by cash over the counter in the early 1990s.
The report adds: “According to Mr Ablewhite he did not realise that he had live ammunition at his address and that if he had come across them he would have immediately handed them to the force armoury or nearest police station.”
The four bulleted cartridges, which were examined and classified by a forensic scientist specialising in firearms, were:
. One .44” Magnum
. One .38” Special
. One .45” Auto
. One .22” Long Rifle.
The ammunition could not be used in the three shotguns Mr Ablewhite was authorised to possess, it was concluded.
The CPS also decided not to prosecute Mr Ablewhite following the IOPC’s investigation into his social media comments.