British police investigating why confiscated guns were returned to alleged Plymouth killer

British police are investigating why a 22-year-old who killed five people was given back his confiscated guns a month before the mass shooting. 

Police allege Jake Davison killed his mother and four others, including a three-year-old, in a mass shooting in Plymouth before killing himself. The Independent Office for Police Conduct said on Friday it will investigate the Devon and Cornwall police decision to return the man's shotgun and gun license just months after confiscating them.

In December 2020 Davison was facing an allegation of assault which led to the confiscation of his shotgun - it is unknown whether this gun was the same one used in the shooting.

A month before Friday's shooting the license and weapon were returned. 

"We will examine what police actions were taken and when, the rationale behind police decision-making and whether relevant law, policy and procedures were followed concerning Mr Davison's possession of a shotgun," said the office's regional director, David Ford.

A search of Davison's computer revealed he had shown interest in incel forums - shorthand for the subculture of involuntary celibates.

The movement justifies violence against women as revenge for them "rejecting" men as a sexual partner.

Davison has posted online although he wouldn't describe himself as an "incel", they are "people similar to me, they've had nothing but themselves, and then they've socially had it tough".

The incel subculture has been linked to fatal attacks in California, Toronto and Florida. 

Mass shootings are rare in the United Kingdom, where gun ownership is relatively low, and Thursday's six-minute rampage was the worst such incident in more than decade.