No action against officers in Harry Stanley case

The Independent Police Complaints Comission ruled today that there should be no disciplinary action against the two Metropolitan Police officers who shot dead Scotsman Harry Stanley in Hackney in 1999, in the mistaken belief that the wooden table-leg he was carrying was a sawn off shotgun.

The IPCC nevertheless criticised the police procedure for writing up post incident reports:

we do recommend that the police service consider very carefully whether their current post incident procedures, which are not significantly changed since Mr Stanley’s death, are in the best interests of their officers and the public interest.

The police cannot have it both ways. The IPCC has already made it clear that our investigators will not treat officers who fire fatal shots on duty as suspects unless there is evidence to suggest that a criminal offence may have been committed. If that is the case, it is difficult to see why they should not be treated immediately like any other significant witness, who are not given access to legal advice and permitted to pool their recollections before giving an account. Video recordings of incident debriefs, which could later be shown if necessary alongside expert advice about the effect of perceptual distortion on the accounts, would provide a credibility with the public that is lacking in the present system.

We recommend that the ACPO Committee on the Police Use of Firearms in conjunction with the IPCC revise the current protocol as a matter of urgency. (IPCC decision)

Mr Stanley’s widow Irene had this to say:

“I am bitterly disappointed by the IPCC decision to accept the Surrey Police report on discipline charges. The officers walk away even though their accounts ‘lack credibility’. This isn’t justice. The public can’t have confidence in a system that ends this way. I fear the police will see this as a green light for their ‘shoot to kill’ policy and that innocent people are at greater risk from armed police after today’s decision.”



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4 responses to “No action against officers in Harry Stanley case”

  1. laban avatar

    What action would you like to be taken ? If you banged them up all their mates would, not unreasonably, put their guns down. Which they did a year or two back when the officers wre suspended.
    Innocent people are at risk from guns in London. I’m not sure that disarming the police will make them safer. Harry Stanley’s death is a tragedy of the sort that alas is bound to occasionally happen when police are armed.

  2. Tom Griffin avatar

    At a minimum they should not be allowed to return to firearms duty, given that two inquest juries refused to conclude that Harry Stanley had been lawfully killed.
    It was because the second jury reached an unlawful killing verdict and the CPS therefore reviewed the case that the officers were suspended.
    That surely is normal procedure for any employee facing possible criminal charges over their work anywhere. It does not imply any reflection on their guilt or innocence.
    For officers to go on strike simply because of the realisation that they were subject to the rule of law is a disgrace.
    I accept that we have to have armed police but not if that means giving them blanket immunity from all acountability for their actions.

  3. cujimmy avatar

    What is the problem? It is a fair swap surely. One dead alcoholic scotchman for one dead English pensioner. NEW LABOUR ARE KILLING ENGLISH PENSIONERS DAILY. GORDON **** BROWN HAS BEEN SENDING ENGLISH MONEY TO SCOTLAND FOR YEARS, WHY ARENT YOU MOANING ABOUT THAT? ENGLISH PEOPLE ARE DYING BECAUSE OF GOD DAMNED JOCKS. Anyway, wasnt he threatening them? You wouldnt say a word if it was an English bloke getting slapped by the old bill.

  4. Tom Griffin avatar

    Not true. Check out the posts on Jimmy Ashley in the deaths in custody section.
    (Sorry for the belated reply by the way)

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