GUNFIRE GRAFFITI UK is a privately funded gun crime project founded in 2008. It discovers, investigates and records and reports evidence of roadside gunfire damage. That is the discharge of firearms into steel/alloy road sign structures. This is predominately in rural areas but examples have been found in urban locations. Whilst these practises are nothing new and indeed unsurprising in some parts of the world it is perhaps difficult to accept and believe that it is relatively commonplace in the UK.
Let me just put that in simple, concise terms. These are locations throughout the UK where persons unknown to the authorities have illegally discharged all types of firearms in public places. I urge you to have a glance at my blog which I keep up to date. I hope you will be able to identify and understand the wider connections.
Lack of awareness and “gun savvy”in the UK makes it easy for the perpetrators to illegally experiment and rehearse with all types of firearms. Shootings are often from within the confines of passing vehicles. The UK has strict gun laws but many of these shootings reveal the use of firearms that are banned from legal ownership. The WHAT can be recognised and WHERE is there for all to find and see. The WHEN can be calculated and we can surmise at WHY. The big question is WHO.
We do know that Michael Ryan who perpetrated the Hungerford Massacre in 1987 went out at night in his car and carried out these type of shootings. He even admitted this to an employer before his rampage and Thames Valley Police found evidence close to Hungerford after his killing spree. The American gangster and gunman Clyde Barrow, (of Bonnie and Clyde fame), did the same in the 1930’s. He would hone his shooting skills on roadside targets in preparation for getaways and ambushes.
To date a total of 576 sites have been found in the UK and Northern Ireland.
A focused and widespread search would undoubtedly uncover a great deal more. The project is ongoing.
LATEST DISCOVERIES – (dates found not date occurred).
04 October 2018. Warning sign structure 3 miles east of the A68 site, (already under investigation after a number of “visits”), penetrated by the same 7.62mm/.308 ammunition type. Minor road intersection B6309 just south of Hindley, Northumbria. Police informed, linked investigation.
04 October 2018. A total of 9 structures struck and or penetrated by .22 ammunition on the moorland route between Osmotherley and Hawnby on the North York Moors.
09 October 2018. A single bullet penetration through a local direction sign on the A394 in Cornwall. This is immediately opposite Rame Cross Stores and Post Office and other residential properties.
21 October 2018. An unknown projectile penetration through a warning sign on the B4000 outside the village of Kingston Winslow in Oxon. Fired in the direction of the village.
21 October 2018. A 7-8 mm bullet penetration discharged through a warning sign on the B4000. Fired directly towards the village of Ashbury in Oxon.
10 December 2018. Shotgun pattern blast, warning sign on the B4102 near Fillongley, Warwickshire.
16 December 2018. Bullet impacts – .22 on junction signage, B3078 between Brook and Hale in the New Forest. Found whilst investigating the shooting and killing of a New Forest pony in Hale.
30 December 2018. Bullet penetrations x3 through a direction sign close to the village of Tangley in Hampshire.