An award-winning police officer from the UK has been criticised after
he posted on Facebook a photograph of children in New Zealand holding
an assault rifle and a Glock pistol.
Firearms officer Blair
McMaster, 39, who works in the Scottish Highlands, posted the picture of
a young boy and girl holding the automatic weapons on his open social
media page. It was taken while he was on holiday in New Zealand.
boy, who appears to be aged around eight is posing with what is
believed to be an M4 assault rifle, while the girl – aged around six –
has what looks like a Glock handgun. Both weapons are understood to be
“This image of armed children is absolutely sickening,” a member of the public who discovered the picture told the Daily Record.
“McMaster must actually think that this is a good role model for children at this age.”
The photograph was posted to McMaster’s Facebook page in December 2010 but had been taken two years earlier.
The source said the use of the image raised questions over father-of-four McMaster’s judgement.
added: “Whatever way you look at it, it is a disgrace that an armed
response police officer believes this is an appropriate image for a
“Putting something like this on a public forum absolutely beggars belief. McMaster should be ashamed of himself.”
Armed response officer McMaster also has a photograph on his page from March 2013 of himself aiming a hunting rifle.
He also has a Mr Men-style cartoon of a muscular police officer described in the picture as “Mr Elite ARV/TSG officer”.
abbreviation ARV is short for Armed Response Vehicle, while TSG
describes Territorial Support Group – the Metropolitan Police’s riot
Police chiefs have said McMaster will be given “appropriate advice” about his use of social media.
Superintendent Elaine Ferguson said: “The first picture was taken on a
holiday in New Zealand in 2008 on a visit to police station in a safe,
controlled and supervised environment.
“The second picture was taken in March 2013 with a legally-held weapon while the officer was off-duty.
“Officers and staff are reminded of their personal responsibility when using social media in a private capacity.
“We will continue to look into this matter and provide the officer with the appropriate advice.”