The Argus at KellyGang 4/11/1878 (4)
(FROM THE ALBURY BANNER, NOV 2)
In consequence of information received on Thursday last, a number of constables were despatched down the river on the afternoon of that day to the neighbourhood of Bungowannah, where it was anticipated that the murderers might attempt to cross. Large reinforcements of police have already been received on the border, and specially selected men from other districts are expected to arrive to-day (Saturday). There is now a strong cordon of police right along the border, and parties stationed back from the border, so that they can be met if they break through the first line. Every possible crossing is being closely watched by strong parties of police. Warrants for the murder of the police against all four offenders have been received from Victoria, and have been duly backed for this colony.
THE MANSFIELD MURDERS
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS
Sir, —Might one venture to make a suggestion to the chief of the department under which is the police force of this colony?
The constables are not allowed any ammunition for rifle or revolver practice, and if a shot is fired by them they have to make a return of the fact, with details of the circumstances under which that one round of ammunition was expended.
I have been told by a mounted constable that there are men in the force who have never fired a shot at a mark, and whose only experience of revolver practice, is how to keep the pistol clean.
For men so unskilled in the use of firearms to be sent in pursuit of armed and expert ruffians, such as the kellys, is sheer cruelty; and I would suggest that every man in the force should be supplied with at least 300 rounds of ball cartridge per annum, which he should be obliged to use in fair target practice; and that annual prizes should be given for the best shot in each constabulary division, and a very substantial prize for the best shot in the force.
These men would then have some chance of knocking over a bushranger. As it is, they are sent out on very unequal terms.
Nov. 1. - SNAP-CAP.
The report that the Kelly gang of bushrangers have been at the Murray near Barnawartha is now pretty generally credited, and whether they have since crossed the river, are concealed in the ranges about Chiltern, or have returned to their old haunts, seems to be the present problem. The hunting parties appear to be busy, and some definite intelligence ought to be soon received from them. The Murray is said to be well guarded on both sides with police and volunteers, who are continually patrolling the banks. The searching parties will have to adopt some plan of recognising each other, or some serious mistake may happen. It will be seen that the Wahgunyah police have been fired on by another party of police, but fortunately no one was injured. Constable McIntyre, who is in a very weak state of health, has been sent to the police hospital at the Richmond Depot. He gives us some explanatory particulars, which appear with the telegrams in another column.
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