Police armoury gun leak possible 

IT’S too early to tell if system failures allowed a NSW police employee to allegedly misappropriate weaponry from a police armoury in Sydney, according to Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein.

A statewide manhunt for Berkeley Vale’s Alan James Cumberland, 38, who works with firearms at the NSW police centre in Surry Hills, ended on Saturday when he handed himself in to police.

Mr Cumberland had not been heard from since Thursday when raids at Bonnells Bay, Morisset and Western Sydney netted stolen police guns, a sub-machinegun and $20,000 in cash.

A Bonnells Bay man, 33, has been charged with possession of a prohibited firearm and refused bail while his father, a 60-year-old from Lalor Park in Sydney’s west, will appear in court next month on firearm offences.

Cumberland has been charged with a number of firearms offences including aggravated possession of firearms and unauthorised manufacture of firearms.

He did not apply for bail in Gosford Local Court on Sunday.

It was too early to say that the man was able to exploit failures in police systems to obtain the weapons, Assistant Commissioner Dein said.

‘‘It’s certainly too early,’’ said Mr Dein, who has responsibility for the armoury.

‘‘We need to look very carefully at what has been happening and look very carefully at what has been revealed as a result of this particular investigation.’’

He said he was not prepared to say that police procedures had failed at the armoury.

‘‘It may well be the case that the current arrangements that we have at the police armoury are appropriate,’’ he said.

However, he conceded there were ‘‘very serious’’ issues related to the police armoury, and that they were currently the subject of an internal review.

‘‘I can tell you very clearly that they are very serious issues that we are looking at,’’ he told reporters.

‘‘We have been looking at the armoury for some time at how it operates.’’

He said the review was looking at the way the armoury contains and manages equipment and how people are employed there.

He said he did not know when the review would be completed, but said it was being done ‘‘as quickly as possible’’.

He stressed that there was no evidence that any other employees at the armoury were involved in the alleged misappropriation of weapons.

He would not be drawn on whether the accused man had any links to organised crime.

Detectives allegedly located firearms, firearm parts, ammunition of various calibres, machining equipment and prohibited weapons at the man’s home when it was searched.

Alan James Cumberland.