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Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

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Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Stox 16 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:53 am

First topic message reminder :

I Have become quite worried by the fact that UK police officers being issued firearms due to the increasingly violent nature of crime they are having to face today, but what is the true the costs of such a measure to our society? is this a road we should be going down at all? if not what should we do instead?
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:39 pm

" If you know the right, pubs or people, you can get you hands on a gun, for around £200....."

....and thereby presumably set yourself up to be be blackmailed as a result.

Honour among thieves?

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Shoot to kill policy

Post by Bellatori on Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:49 pm

There were always questions about such a policy being covertly undertaken in Northern Ireland. A good friend of mine, a Major in the royal Marines who did four tours of duty in NI tacitly admitted this to be true. I do not think the policy either legal nor desirable but given the circumstances current at the time it was kind of understandable but wrong. When I hear the direction of a coroner to a jury stating that if a policeman believes himself, however wrongly, to be under a threat then it is lawful to shoot to kill I have to express concern. I am trying to imagine a circumstance where a policeman would admit that he was not under threat, the victim was unarmed and yet he shot anyway. As was the case with Hillsboro', the policeman and his colleagues are almost certain to collude and produce a common front stating that they felt they were in danger. The jury will be directed to a lawful killing verdict and we have legally instituted a shoot to kill policy.

I would like to comment on how the jury answered the five questions in the Mark Duggan case


In the period between midday on 3 August 2011 and when state amber was called at 6.00 pm on 4 August 2011, did the Metropolitan Police Service and the Serious Organised Crime Agency do the best they realistically could have done to gather and react to intelligence about the possibility of Mr Duggan collecting a gun from Mr Hutchinson-Foster? The jury said a unanimous no.
Suggests to me that they had little confidence in the intelligence and its application.

Was the stop conducted in a location and in a way which minimised, to the greatest extent possible, recourse to lethal force? Unanimous yes.
Fair enough.

Did Mr Duggan have the gun with him in the taxi immediately before the stop? Unanimous yes
Was this reached on the basis of intelligence they thought was badly handled? If so that would be surprising and therefore I must conclude they thought the presence of a gun some 20ft away was significant.

How did the gun get to the grass area where it was later found? A majority of 9 to 1 said it was thrown.
This is the difficult one because if it was thrown I would expect there to be testimony from the police to say it was thrown. But if that were the case then they would know he was not holding a gun in which case shooting him was unlawful. It is interesting to note that the one eye witness independent of the police did not see a gun nor sign of anything being thrown.

When Mr Duggan received a fatal shot, did he have the gun in his hand? A majority of 8 to 2 said no, he did not have a gun in his hand.

So those policemen who testified to the gun in his hand lied. He cannot both have had it in his hand and it be on the grass 20ft away.

Bare in mind there were 30 police witnesses. The gun was thrown or it was not thrown. If it was not thrown and there is no testimony to say it was (rhetorical question not statement) then the gun was planted.

The end result in my mind is that an unarmed man was gunned down by a policeman who claimed to be in peril because he thought the unarmed man was armed. According to the coroner the jury have to find on that basis lawful killing. In my mind we have now a legalised shoot to kill.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by buckspygmy on Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:07 pm

Heart of the matter the firearms officers perception of threat at the time.
It does not matter at all if that perception of threat with 20/20 hindsight did not exist.
As for Duggan's gun it could easily have been thrown that distance when he was shot in the arm.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by bobby on Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:11 pm

The term "shoot to Kill" is in itself a bit misleading. If a Police Officer or a Soldier has been given the order to use a Fire arm, it automatically comes with a justifiable legal right to Kill, Its only Hollywood that seems to think a copper can shoot an evading miscreant in the leg.
In the UK, the instant you are given the order to shoot, the Kill bit is automatic as it would be deemed that the terrorist or criminal has on his person the wherewithal to do either yourself or other Fatal damage. What you don't do is shoot to wound leaving an armed villain or terrorist the ability to shoot you back or a terrorist to push a hidden button detonating a bomb, even a sniper who with a modern snipers armoury could successfully shoot to wound, they don't, they do as much damage to the target as is possible with the first shot and that is a fatal shot..
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Phil Hornby on Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:31 pm

It must be a very easy matter for anyone who has never been in the situation to 'second-guess' what the likes of the Police firearms officer 'should have done'.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:24 pm

buckspygmy wrote:Heart of the matter the firearms officers perception of threat at the time.
It does  not matter at all if that perception of threat with 20/20 hindsight did not exist.

Sorry but rather misses the point. Whilst I have doubts about the testimony and its validity from any of the witnesses - police or the guy on the 9th floor, it is the fact that it is OK to shoot if you feel threatened. In other words killing by a police officer is ALWAYS justified. They cannot be wrong because they can always claim that they thought they were in a threatening situation. This is what the coroner made clear. In other words, go out, shoot the guy, worry about the consequences later. It basically says that you don't need a justification. If you are armed then just kill someone and claim threat.

buckspygmy wrote:As for Duggan's gun it could easily have been thrown that distance when he was shot in the arm.
Really? It managed to jump over some railings and land twenty feet away and no one noticed? Does that seem likely?


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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:27 pm

bobby wrote:The term "shoot to Kill" is in itself a bit misleading. If a Police Officer or a Soldier has been given the order to use a Fire arm, it automatically comes with a justifiable legal right to Kill, Its only Hollywood that seems to think a copper can shoot an evading miscreant in the leg.
In the UK, the instant you are given the order to shoot, the Kill bit is automatic as it would be deemed that the terrorist or criminal has on his person the wherewithal to do either yourself or other Fatal damage. What you don't do is shoot to wound leaving an armed villain or terrorist the ability to shoot you back or a terrorist to push a hidden button detonating a bomb, even a sniper who with a modern snipers armoury could successfully shoot to wound, they don't, they do as much damage to the target as is possible with the first shot and that is a fatal shot..  

I do not disagree with your assessment. However the term Shoot to kill was coined in NI on the basis of shoot first think later not simply assess the threat and then react. My point is that we are in the same situation here. The coroners comments emphasise that we will exercise 20-20 hindsight and shooting is OK so long as you claim threat no matter apparently what the reality of the situation is.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:30 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:It must be a very easy matter for anyone who has never been in the situation to 'second-guess' what the likes of the Police firearms officer 'should have done'.

That is true but not the point of my assessment. The coroner made it clear that it was OK to kill an unarmed man so long as you could claim (whether rightly or not) that you felt (not actually were) threatened. As I pointed out before this is what 'Shoot to Kill' meant in NI. Shoot first and fix the consequences later. Is the officer responsible going to say well he was unarmed but hey I thought I would shoot him anyway on the off chance? Hardly likely.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by bobby on Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:19 pm

My personal opinion is that if some scroat leaves his home and carries a gun, the Police shouldn't have to second guess anyone they should simply shoot the prick and have done with it. Then any other arsehole who thinks it may be well hard or stupid may think again before putting their lives at risk.
There are those who seem to think that a Police marksman should wait until a bullet is heading in his direction before taking action.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:14 am

Totally agree with you there, Bobby.
One thing that sticks out for me is the behaviour of his family in the aftermath of the verdict. The statements released, especially given the events in the wake of the shooting, have been an attempt to inciting more riots.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:47 am

bobby wrote:My personal opinion is that if some scroat leaves his home and carries a gun, the Police shouldn't have to second guess anyone they should simply shoot the prick and have done with it. Then any other arsehole who thinks it may be well hard or stupid may think again before putting their lives at risk.
There are those who seem to think that a Police marksman should wait until a bullet is heading in his direction before taking action.

Bobby, I entirely agree but that is not what the point of this thread is about. Well for me at least  Very Happy The coroner directed the jury to return a verdict of lawful killing if the policeman felt, rightly OR WRONGLY, that they were in a life threatening situation. In other words all a policeman has to do after shooting someone is state that he felt threatened and that is him off the hook.

There are other things about the whole incident that I find puzzling but the coroners direction is the one that worries me most. In NI soldiers in a state of 'panic' shot civilians. Did they feel threatened? Yes. Was the shooting legitimate? No but even though they were unarmed, claims for the presence of guns surfaced without any supporting evidence but, according to this coroner, that would be lawful killing.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:19 am

Dan Fante wrote:Totally agree with you there, Bobby.
One thing that sticks out for me is the behaviour of his family in the aftermath of the verdict. The statements released, especially given the events in the wake of the shooting, have been an attempt to inciting more riots.

Do you really think so? Unsurprisingly the family are very upset at what they view as an unreasonable outcome but Duggan's aunt urges 'no violence' might suggest otherwise.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:38 am

Bellatori wrote:
Dan Fante wrote:Totally agree with you there, Bobby.
One thing that sticks out for me is the behaviour of his family in the aftermath of the verdict. The statements released, especially given the events in the wake of the shooting, have been an attempt to inciting more riots.

Do you really think so? Unsurprisingly the family are very upset at what they view as an unreasonable outcome but Duggan's aunt urges 'no violence' might suggest otherwise.
I heard the comments immediately afterwards by Duggan's Aunt and they were pretty incendiary. She's obviously been advised to recount them but it's fortunate it isn't too late and there wasn't trouble last night.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by buckspygmy on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:04 pm

One problem facing the firearms officers is the phone Duggan was holding in one hand, they are fully aware a mobile phone may not be what is seems especially with a known criminal:-

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by bobby on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:19 pm

Well said Buck, Anyway had the copper been found guilty, I very much doubt the Duggan Family would refuse any compensation offered.
When the coppers challenged him and knowing there was a firearm or firearms present so long as one hand is not visible the law had not only the right but a duty to take the little bastard out.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:20 pm

Policemen are employed by the General Public to provide us with a protection against criminal activity. If elected representatives of the public then make a decision to equip them with deadly weapons, it must be assumed that they will be used. Any other assumption is total nonsense. Many Pub landlords have a large dog on the premises, and who is surprised at that? Only a total hypocrite could complain if an intruder got his leg chewed.

There can be nothing more stupid than sending armed soldiers to "Police" an area - the function of soldiers is to kill people and all the subsequent breast-beating after they do exactly that defies logic. An equal argument applies to a police "armed response". The presumption must be that they are prepared to kill people. We have appointed them through our elected representatives, and accordingly must support whatever they do within the Law. Or change the Law.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:22 pm

I reckon there was a story concocted by the coppers when no gun was found though. The evidence given by the bloke who shot Duggan didn't make a great deal of sense to me. That said, I'm pretty sure he thought he was in grave danger (albeit probably in error). I'm bereft of sympathy for Duggan in any case.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:32 pm

The police are not perfect because they comprise individuals drawn from 'us'. 

 However, in my experience, they are far closer to perfection than many of the 'us' I have seen from time to time...
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by astradt1 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:49 pm

I wonder how soon it will be before someone involved in a demonstration, who is carrying a 'mobile phone' is shot in a 'split second' decision?

Was there just one armed police officer covering Duggan or were there other guns trained on him?
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:58 pm

On the day when the police stand by wringing their hands as some mad gunman shoots an innocent passer-by , no doubt some knowledgeable members of the great British public will complain that 'they did nothing'.

Damned if they do - and damned if they don't...as usual...       Shocked
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:30 pm

astradt1 wrote:I wonder how soon it will be before someone involved in a demonstration, who is carrying a 'mobile phone' is shot in a 'split second' decision?
The police at a demonstration are unlikely to be armed. Also, they are not going to be pointing weapons at a demonstrator holding a mobile phone in the belief that they are armed and dangerous. This sort of thing is incredibly rare in this country and is held up to a great deal of scrutiny when it does occur. This is a good thing and reflects well on the general attitude to firearms in the UK in my view.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:38 pm

Dan Fante wrote:I reckon there was a story concocted by the coppers when no gun was found though.
It is a bit like the magic bullet theory of the Kennedy assassination. An invisible gun flew through the air and dropped itself behind some railings. As far as I can see no evidence other than intelligence (if I may abuse the word) was given for there being a gun in the car, no one saw a gun except the shooter and no one saw a gun flying through the air. Fortunately a gun was eventually 'found'.

Dan Fante wrote:The evidence given by the bloke who shot Duggan didn't make a great deal of sense to me. That said, I'm pretty sure he thought he was in grave danger (albeit probably in error).
And this is where the court ruling leaves us all in great danger. An officer gets panicked and shoots a bystander and kills him. Well that's OK because he holds his hand up and says he thought there was a threat. The court, according to this judge, says 'ooops' but never mind that's OK.

astradt1 wrote:I wonder how soon it will be before someone involved in a demonstration, who is carrying a 'mobile phone' is shot in a 'split second' decision?

I think the following is relevant from Death of Ian Tomlinson
"Tomlinson's death sparked a debate in the UK about what appeared to be a deteriorating relationship between the police and the public, as well as the degree to which the IPCC is independent of the police, and the role of citizens in monitoring police and government activity (sousveillance). There was criticism of the news coverage too, the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, calling it "an orgy of cop bashing." The incident was compared to previous deaths involving police contact or allegedly inadequate investigations, such as the deaths of Blair Peach (1979), Stephen Lawrence (1993), and Jean Charles de Menezes (2005), each of which acted as a watershed in the public's perception of policing."

Not a split second decision but everything in the video showed a premeditated thuggery. Suppose he had had a gun. Then what..? Ooops?

Phil Hornby wrote:On the day when the police stand by wringing their hands as some mad gunman shoots an innocent passer-by , no doubt some knowledgeable members of the great British public will complain that 'they did nothing'.
The video of Tomlinson's death shows quite clearly that that is exactly what all the police around Tomlinson did... nothing. They stood by and watched a colleague carry out a premeditated assault on an innocent passer by.

My point, once again, is that this coroner's ruling makes restraint and accountability less likely and shoot/act first think later more so.

Dan Fante wrote:I'm bereft of sympathy for Duggan in any case.
Well, frankly, that makes two of us, the above notwithstanding.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:03 pm

bobby wrote:... Anyway had the copper been found guilty, I very much doubt the Duggan Family would refuse any compensation offered.

I do not understand this. Had there been returned a verdict of unlawful killing (as in the Tomlinson case where there was a 'substantial' but undisclosed payment) should his family not be entitled to compensation? I believe he has children. If, on the other hand what you are implying is that the family are pursuing this simply for financial gain then the guilt or otherwise of the Policeman is irrelevant and I would agree with you that the family are behaving cynically.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Ivan on Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:10 pm

Bellatori wrote:-
…..we have legally instituted a shoot to kill policy.
Harold Wilson closed more coal mines in the 1960s than Thatcher did in the 1980s.” That’s one of the standard soundbites in the 'Tory Handbook of Lies and Misleading Statements', an essential tool for duping cerebrally challenged ‘Sun’ and ‘Daily Mail’ readers into voting against their best interests. The remark is true, Wilson did shut more pits, but the Tories never tell you why. There were more pits in the 1960s than there were in the 1980s, Wilson shut unprofitable ones at a time when there was relatively little unemployment and when former miners could get work in nearby factories. On the other hand, Thatcher shut larger and profitable pits for political reasons at a time of mass unemployment, causing long-term, probably permanent, damage to some communities.

In a similar way, police chief Paul Condon stated in 1995 that “80% of muggings in high crime areas of London are committed by young black men”. Again, the statement was true, but the reasons for it didn’t get explained and didn’t make neat little soundbite headlines. At the time – and it may not be significantly different today - one-third of the non-white population fell within the poorest one-fifth in Britain, and crime and poverty are closely related. From what I’ve read about Condon I don’t think it was intended, but the implication of his remarks was that there was something about ‘blackness’ itself that was significant in those crime figures.

So if, for whatever reason, young black men are more prone to commit crimes, is it surprising that they are far more likely to be subjected to stop-and-search and that the police will develop a jaundiced view of them? At the same time, many people in Tottenham do not trust the police. Relations between black residents there and the police have been difficult since 1985, when rioting on the Broadwater Farm estate resulted in the murder of PC Keith Blakelock and the wrongful conviction of Winston Silcott, Engin Raghip and Mark Braithwaite. Another man, Nicholas Jacobs, who was sixteen at the time of the murder, is due to go on trial in March this year, and that could again increase tension in Tottenham.

I don’t think we can extrapolate the idea that “we have legally instituted a shoot to kill policy” from the death of Mark Duggan, and the officer didn’t “shoot a bystander”. There are contradictory accounts of what happened in the heat of the moment on that day in August 2011, but we do know that Duggan owned a gun. In January last year, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster was convicted of supplying Duggan with the handgun that was found near the incident. (He denied the charge, and he gave his explanation for the presence of his DNA on the gun by alleging he had been beaten with the weapon by a gang that included Duggan.)

Duggan was clearly a nasty piece of work – probably a drug dealer and possibly a gang leader – who no doubt wanted to avenge the murder of his cousin earlier in the year. Duggan was in a minicab, and the driver confirmed that when the police stopped it, he got out and ran; if he wasn’t carrying a weapon, why would he do that? If confronted by armed police, wouldn’t it be wise to stay put? It seems plausible to me that Duggan could have had the gun concealed under his clothes and he decided to make a run for it, throwing the gun over the railings in an attempt to avoid being caught in possession.

The police make mistakes, they’re only human like the rest of us, but we should support them except when there is proof that individuals have done wrong. We can pontificate on here as much as we like, but we’re not in possession of all the facts. One jury convicted Hutchinson-Foster of supplying Duggan with a gun. Another jury, after three months of listening to the evidence, decided (albeit by a majority of 8-2) that Duggan was lawfully killed, and we should respect their judgement. Speaking personally, I won’t be shedding any tears for a piece of lowlife like Duggan.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/mugging-is-it-a-black-and-white-issue-1590337.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Mark_Duggan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Keith_Blakelock
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:12 pm

Ivan wrote:...

I think you have got the wrong end of the stick here. I have scant sympathy for Duggan though one has to take the press coverage and his painting as a big time gangster with a certain degree of scepticism. The point here is what the coroner (judge) directed in court. I repeat... he directed the jury to pass a verdict of lawful killing if the policeman believed rightly or wrongly that he was in imminent danger. He gave the jury no real choice but to find this as their verdict because, again as I have pointed out, what else is a policemen going to say? "I panicked and got the whole thing wrong and opened fire by mistake." Hardly. Every time they will say "I was feared for my life guv".

This direction by the judge legitimises ANY fatal shooting by the police. It removes any constraint on the cowboys amongst the police.

Whilst we can use sound bite descriptions such as low life to describe Duggan it is probably worth reminding ourselves of Shooting of Stephen Waldorf. Had Stephen Waldorf died under the hail of bullets fired at him this coroner would have instructed the jury to find a verdict of lawful killing because I am sure the two officers concerned would have claimed they were afraid for their lives.



Last edited by Bellatori on Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added a link to a relevant case)

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:47 pm

Some people like to argue for the sake of arguing. Usually about "Religion" but extending to unanswerable questions such as, "When is it justifiable to take a human life" or my own complaint, "Why wasn't I born rich instead of beautiful?"
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by boatlady on Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:14 pm

On a similar theme, at an institution where I once worked, a young inmate died of suffocation as a result of staff applying too-enthusiastic restraint when a colleague was attacked.

It was eventually accepted, after full investigation, that no crime had been committed; however, some people lost their employment because it was judged that they had lost control in a potentially dangerous situation, leading to the death of the young person in question, and a range of procedural measures and training were put in place to guard against the death of another inmate, and to ensure that staff were better equipped to deal with future incidents.

I spoke to the individual who was attacked by the inmate - they will be severely disabled for the rest of their lives, and unable to continue their original job. On the day of the incident they were targeted for attack and the attack was aimed at killing them -so colleagues were right to be extremely alarmed; however, the point remains that where there is an imbalance of power (as in the case of an inmate versus staff in an institution, or in the case of a member of the public versus an armed police officer) the onus arguably should be on the more powerful party to ensure that their actions are proportionate and are carried out as far as possible without emotional complication.

If you are in a profession that requires or permits you to use deadly force against a member of the community, I guess I might want to say you have an obligation not to act out of fear, anger or hatred and your employers have an obligation to ensure that you are provided with all the protection you need in order to ensure that you are able to carry out your duties without those emotions which will obviously impair your judgement.

A police officer who shoots and kills a member of public who is unarmed and not preventing an immediate threat to anyone, would in my view be acting unlawfully and some sanctions should be applied - to find him not guilty gives me the same concerns as those expressed much more cogently by Bellatori.

I didn't follow this story at the time, but I would have expected that a judge would rule that a police officer who responded emotionally in a potentially dangerous situation may have acted unlawfully. It's among the basic functions of the police to act to prevent breaches of the peace after all.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:14 pm

"Respond emotionally".

Is a human capable of responding unemotionally?

Watch Bladerunner again if you require an answer.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by boatlady on Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:16 pm

I think Bladerunner was a movie - weren't we talking about the real world?


No I don't think a human being is capable of being without emotion; however, if we are arming our police I suggest they need training, protective clothing, VERY clear guidelines for behaviour whilst armed - and sanctions applied should their emotional response to situations lead to errors of judgement.
Policing is after all a professional occupation which sort of implies superior standards of behaviour.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by bobby on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:35 am

Boatlady. I completed 2 tours in Armagh  Northern Ireland, and all you have said about not acting out of fear, anger or hatred are the very things we where told by our glorious leaders and on the face of it" quite right too".
My point is that the first time Myself and my platoon where to make contact with a load of crazed micks, we where ordered to wait in a side street in the town of Armagh , whilst a large group of crazed Irish where heading our way. We could hear them from a good distance away and also hear the damage they where doing to the local property's in search of some weaponry. They would use iron railings as spears steel ball bearings fired from a catapult, gears from car gearboxes and not forgetting their favourite the Molotov cocktail in fact just about anything they could lay their hands on. It seemed an age before we where let loose on them (before you say they only had home made weapons, all we had at that time being we where only a peace keeping force where sticks/clubs) and after a build up of emotions whilst waiting listening to what we knew was coming, we where let loose. I hit anything that moved that wasn't coloured Khaki and with every stroke wishing I had my SLR  gun, as if I did I would surely have shot each one I hit with my stick. we didn't stop until they ran away, the only reason we didn't give chase is because we where exhausted, so we bashed a few of their casualties and where ordered back to base.  I am not a naturally violent man, in fact mostly I am very easy going, but after the long wait whilst the fear was building up coupled to the bravado of my mated (their defence mechanism) as we where all a scared as each other. all sense of reason went out the window, leaving only fear, anger and hatred. Fortunately after that, all patrols where carried out fully armed but could only shoot someone who was threatening either us or others with a firearm. Some mistakes where.
made.  

Not once during my 2 tours did I hear the expression Shoot to Kill, just shoot.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:31 am

I share some of the concerns Bella has expressed but the reaction to Duggan's shooting (and the verdict, to a lesser extent) demonstrates (much like hero-worship of scum like Raoul Moat) what a effed up sense of right and wrong some people have. To me, instead of rioting about something like this, there should be widespread outrage over the recent news that 50% of people convicted of serious crimes like GBH and sexual assault manage to avoid a custodial sentence (not to mention some of the pitiful sentences that are given out for crimes such as this when the perpetrators actually do go to prison).
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by boatlady on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:29 am

Bobby, Thanks for your thoughts.
I've fortunately for me never been in a situation where I was in fear of my life (although in the course of my working life I have been threatened and assaulted).

It just seems to me that there is an underlying principle here - although we do acknowledge that people are not perfect and will make errors of judgement maybe based on emotions such as fear, anger or hatred - those errors are in fact not acceptable and should be condemned.

I feel, if we want the rule of law (and I certainly do) that it should and must be applied even handedly across the board. People professionally employed in a position of power have a greater than usual obligation to remain aware of their fears and prejudices and not allow those feelings to affect their actions.

There are two elements here, to my way of hinking :-
1) A police officer losing control and acting on instinct and out of emotion is failing to do his job in the best possible way. I don't think you can argue otherwise. I think you have to criticise that person's behaviour. Killing an unarmed person is wrong, in my book - end of. Before making decisions about action, I think you need first of all to establish right and wrong. Whether or not the victim is a good person does not affect the lawfulness or otherwise of his killing  - we do not have the death penalty in this country, so killing people for crimes is ipso facto unlawful.
2) The DEGREE to which his failure is understandable and can be excused by the context is another matter entirely. I suspect the judge's instruction should have been somewhat different - how the offence was then dealt with would of course be moderated by reference to the circumstances that surrounded the offence - the courts have a range of sanctions available, one of which might have been a non custodial disposal, combined with a requirement to retrain before returning to duty.
i don't know, but this is the way it seems to me at present.
I do of course continue to think it possible that I may be wrong, and I haven't followed this case very closely, so there may be facts I'm not aware of, but for the present, them's my thoughts
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:30 pm

Police recruits required - only the superhuman need apply.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by buckspygmy on Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:38 pm

oftenwrong wrote:Police recruits required - only the superhuman need apply.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:42 pm

oftenwrong wrote:Police recruits required - only the superhuman need apply.
 Laughing 
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by boatlady on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:18 pm

not yet convinced I'm wrong
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:20 pm

bobby wrote:...Not once during my 2 tours did I hear the expression Shoot to Kill, just shoot.

What you wrote Bobby brought back everything I was told. When weapons did appear on the armed forces then the expression was coined. "Shoot to Kill" by the press as the name given to the fact that 'protesters/militants/call them what you will' were being deliberately targeted and shot dead irrespective of whether at that time they were armed or a threat. I don't want to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs of NI as my point relates to the legal process that follows a shooting.

This coroner has made it clear that so long as the armed officer can claim that he felt under threat, rightly or wrongly, then the jury should pass a verdict of lawful killing. That, in my view, validates a 'shoot to kill' policy and, again, in my view, wrongly and not to the benefit of society. It should not be possible to justify a killing in such a way. It does not matter if the 'victim' is an innocent (Tomlinson) or allegedly a gangster (Duggan), all cases require reflection and the jury should be able to decide whether the policeman (in this case) behaved reasonably in terms of threat assessment. This judgement says they are not allowed to do that they must simply accept the policeman's word. This IS new law because the interminably lengthy enquiry into bloody Sunday would have lasted five minutes under this direction. They felt threatened hence the killings were lawful.

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:26 pm



" You can't do that , officer - you haven't filled in the correct forms yet..."
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Bellatori on Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:46 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:

" You can't do that , officer - you haven't filled in the correct forms yet..."



No forms needed for this though...

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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:43 pm

" A police officer accused of killing Ian Tomlinson hit him because he believed he was being deliberately obstructive, a court has heard.
PC Simon Harwood, 45, of south London, denies the 2009 manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson, 47, during the G20 protests.

He told a jury at Southwark Crown Court that Mr Tomlinson looked as if he wanted officers to move him away.

He pushed the newspaper vendor "firmly" after the baton strike but did not mean to push him over, he said." (BBC)

With the benefit of hindsight, the actions of the policeman in question cannot be condoned, but it did look to me as if Tomlinson was deliberately dawdling and if he had been told to move on he should have made himself scarce , given the highly-charged nature of the whole scenario.

My elder son has been in a 'peaceful' group of football supporters who were given unjustified rough treatment by the police, but many groups of supporters are doubtless not especially helpful or compliant to the police. My advice to my lad was to keep clear and always to do as they are instructing with regard to keeping moving etc., however unjustifiable it may seem at the time, since I did not want to be bailing him out of some cell, or seeing him get 'fitted-up' for an incident in which he had no real part .

I expect that, had I ever been an officer who has spent a few hours being spat at, abused and the target for missiles, I ,too, may have become just a tad fed up with the whole episode. It is so easy to expect them to never respond. It isn't right - but it is understandable...
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:30 pm

Tory dogma:

Never explain,
Never apologise,
Never admit fallibility.
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Re: Does it worry you that police officers in the UK are increasingly carrying firearms?

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