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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living