Saturday, 27 March 2010

What's your conclusion?

There have been two police officers in the news this week. On Thursday there were the reports that PC Ian Terry had been killed unlawfully. In 2008 he was the "robber" in a training exercise which went tragically wrong. How could this happen? Over the years I have spoken with police officers and they have told me about the stringent training that goes with firearms. If you are holding a gun you point it towards the ground. I know that but it seems that even with rigorous training one officer failed to point the gun at the car tyre and it was "instinct" that caused the shot to PC Terry's chest. There were many errors that led to the loss of life.

On Wednesday Sgt Delroy Smellie denied a charge of common assault on Nicola Fisher at the G20 demonstration in London last April. You may remember the article on the news. She was filmed speaking to this officer while she was holding a carton of orange. It was his instinct to feel threatened. The carton of orange could have been a weapon. He slapped her hard across the face and then hit her with a baton across the back of her thigh. He had forgotten about the use of the baton.

How can it be that so many errors can lead to the death of a young police officer? How can riot training be so poor that a carton of orange may be perceived as a weapon. Although the extensive bruising is not in the same category as the gunshot errors, if I had been demonstrating near Nicola Fisher I am sure that my mood would have changed.

If we are really relying on instinct for such important matters then it is quite clear that training is not good enough. There are other conclusions but I'll let you think about them.

Change the world

No comments:

Post a Comment