Police ‘advised to drop hard stops six years before Mark Duggan’s death’


Scotland Yard ignored recommendations to review a controversial police tactic deployed against Mark Duggan minutes before he was shot, despite being advised to do so six years earlier, a BBC television programme claims this evening.

The “hard stop” – a controversial interception technique designed to stun armed suspects into submission – was used on the taxi Mr Duggan was travelling in when he was shot dead by armed officers in August 2011. Three unmarked police cars boxed in the vehicle, brought it to a halt and officers later fired two shots, the second of which killed Mr Duggan.

The Panorama programme alleges that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) privately advised Scotland Yard to review the tactic as long ago as 2005, after the technique was deployed on another suspect, again with lethal consequences.

Azelle Rodney was killed when the car in which he was travelling was forced to a halt outside a pub in north London. It is claimed the IPCC privately advised Scotland Yard to review use of the technique, deeming it a “high-risk option”.

Mark Rowley, the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told the BBC:  “No formal review took place and perhaps it should have done. Perhaps some formal paperwork and formal thinking should have been done.”

But in comments to be broadcast tonight, he defended the tactic: “If we’ve got intelligence about gang criminals carrying guns across London to go and shoot others, we have to plan operations to confront that threat,” he said.

“At the time there were no formal changes. But we’re constantly looking at the tactic and if anyone has a better idea on how you confront armed criminals in vehicles with a view to arresting them safely and seizing their weapons, then we’re up for better ideas. People say review; people don’t come forward with better ideas.”

A photograph shown as evidence to the jury at the Royal Courts of Justice A photograph shown as evidence to the jury at the Royal Courts of Justice  

Deborah Glass, the former deputy chair of the IPCC, told Panorama that “questions will be asked” of the Met’s failure to carry out a formal review. The technique was also deployed in 2012 when Anthony Grainger, who was unarmed, was fatally shot by a police marksman as he sat in a stolen car. The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, Sir Peter Fahy, has been charged with breaching health and safety legislation for alleged “serious deficiencies in the preparation for this operation that unnecessarily exposed individuals to risk”.

According to the programme, eight out of the 10 people fatally shot by armed Met police officers in the past decade have been killed during “pre-planned operations”, including hard stops.

The programme also speaks to two anonymous Met officers from the same firearms unit that killed Mr Duggan.

“It’s extremely difficult, especially when you think that you’re doing something for good, you’re doing the right thing and you’re being trained to do something to protect the public and protect your colleagues, when you then face the potential of prosecution,” one said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot