If you don't get forwarded, click here

Police firearm fired at officer...not for the fire time

Headquarters (South),
where the incident happened
It has been confirmed this afternoon that the bullet that somehow became lodged in a police officer's airwave terminal was one issued to police firearms officers. The IPCC has often been mentioned in press reports, but has been drowned out due to the violent disorder that followed the shooting. Once the disorder has been brought under control, which i expect to be tonight, the inevitable inquiry will be launched alongside the police and IPCC investigations. The Home Affairs Select Committee is going to have a lot on it's plate considering it is in the middle of taking evidence on the News of the World scandal. Talking of the News of the World, the Murdock clan are hoping that their misdeeds will be forgotten about. It will be for Keith Vaz to ensure it is not.

I find it astonishing that a police firearms officer would discharge a weapon into a colleague. If you have met these guys and girls you will know that they take the issue of firearms safety very seriously, so i am looking forward to find out what happened, and its only fair and proper that the officer involved be dealt with appropratly...the Duggen family at least deserve that.

This is the only area of criticism for the police. I have never been prouder of my colleagues. Seeing them dressed in PSU gear makes it very easy to forget that these officers are human beings. There are no doubt thousands of families worried sick that their loved one will be injured or worse. I hope that that worry is tinged with pride.

.44 Magnum Revolver, similar to that fired by
a TVP firearms officer.
Returning briefly to the issue of the bullet in the radio. This isn't the first time that a firearms officer has shot a colleague. In 2007 a Thames Valley Police firearms officer, PC Micklethwaite shot a civillian Police Enquiry Control Room Operator in the abdomen while running a firearms awareness course. The IPCC investigation [pdf] concluded by commenting "We find it astonishing that the systems and procedures were not in place to prevent [the discharge of live round] occurring that led to this life changing incident".

I mention this case as it's circumstances are very similar to those of Mark Duggen. In the TVP case PC Micklethwaite was convicted and was "...fined £8000 and required to pay £8000 costs. TVP was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000". Having undergone that very same firearms awareness course with TVP the following year, i can tell you that these courses are no longer run in a classroom. I was surrounded by very nervous firearms instructors while we were shown deactivated examples of various firearms. Ammo was no where to be seen...

PS. For officers who have never seen the publication "Learning the Lessons", its highly recommended for police officers and control room staff.