Anti-terror police will shoot to kill

#1
More fervid ramblings from the Street of Shame, this time in The Indie, which is normally quite measured in these things. That said, it's an informative generic piece about what the boys in blue are p to:

Anti-terror police will useshoot-to-kill policy

By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
Published: 14 July 2005

The face of British policing has been changed forever by the revelation that suicide bombers have struck for the first time in this country.

For several years police chiefs had been preparing for the day that fanatics prepared to take their own lives commit an outrage on British streets. Police had visited Israel and Sri Lanka, which have suffered many suicide attacks, and had sent out guidance to officers on how to tackle a suspected bomber. But last week's atrocities in central London have turned a theoretical exercise into one with a chilling relevance to everyday policing.

Armed officers responding to alerts will follow a "shoot-to-kill" policy, while further security precautions will be taken in buildings regarded as prime targets. It is also understood that fresh advice has been circulated to chief constables in the wake of last Thursday's atrocities, who in turn have passed the information to front-line officers.

British planning for a suicide bombing predates 11 September, but was given fresh impetus by those attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. After leading a police delegation to Israel and Sri Lanka, Barbara Wilding, then a deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, produced a confidential report in 2003 on how to tackle the threat in Britain.

Its general advice for officers was not to challenge suspected bombers, but to alert anti-terrorist officers immediately. If the terrorist appears to be about to blow himself up, officers are told to move passers-by discreetly away from him.

Armed police officers arriving on the scene will be operating a shoot-to-kill policy, aiming for the terrorist's head. They will not shoot at the chest, as is the practice in Britain, for fear that would detonate explosives strapped around the bomber.

Police are testing mobile or hand-held scanners that can detect hidden weapons or bombs packed with nails and bolts. Work is also under way on how bomb-sniffer dogs can be deployed in the fight against suicide bombers.

The National Suicide Terrorist working group, comprising senior officers, regularly updates its advice to chief constables. A police source said: "It is ongoing work. Many of its projects are under constant review."

One effect of the attacks is that public buildings will have to adapt their security checks. Metal detector machines are likely to be moved outside buildings to minimise the carnage if a bomb is detonated and the number of entrances minimised.

But Ms Wilding has confessed that the potential targets are numerous and diverse, including large sports stadiums and shopping centres. That leaves police with having to rely on intelligence work as they try to track down home-grown suicide bombers.

Many are likely to be only very loosely affiliated to terrorists and to be living outwardly respectable, conventional lives.
I wonder how long it will be for the reactionary liberal lobby to start pressing for inquiries into the police's 'barbaric shoot-to-kill policy' in a few years time...
 
#2
Darth_Doctrinus said:
I wonder how long it will be for the reactionary liberal lobby to start pressing for inquiries into the police's 'barbaric shoot-to-kill policy' in a few years time...
That's a given. They don't seem to be able to complete the circle: ---> terrorists want to curtail the freedoms that the liberals espouse---> the Government enacts laws to protect society's general freedoms by taking away some 'rights'---> the ‘liberal lobby’ campaigns for the freedoms to be returned, ignoring that---> terrorists want to curtail the freedoms that the liberals espouse…

The Social Contract exists for a reason – like it or not it’s how our Mother of all Parliaments came about. I know that organisations such as Liberty have their place as conscience raisers but I really wish that sometimes these cash cow seeking lawyers would pull their heads in.
 
#3
I'm glad I gave up my firearms ticket when I did. The first person to make a wrong call on this one will be hung out to dry.

Traditionally the officer taking the shot is the only person who makes the decision. What if he is now told to shoot via radio by a senior officer? Who is liable? Given the risk-aversion inherent in many senior police officers it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

V!
 
#5
Given the accuracy of marksmanship I have witnessed on a range I doubt it will happen that often.
 
#6
The guidelines for dealing with suicide bombers are a bit of a chuckle. Apparently, some devices rely on the user releasing a switch rather than pressing one so shooting them will cause the device to detonate. The guidance also lists when they may initiate their device; on reaching their target,if they cannot get to their target and so choose another location and if they suspect the have been compromised. So if you shoot them or not, and if they get stopped or not they are going to explode. The guidance is aim for the base of their brain at the back which will prevent them moving at all once hit. So a highly accurate shot from the back is all that will help. The advice does also point out that often the bomber themselves don't have the ability to initiate the device, but this is a remote control unit held by another party who is watching. So even if shot they may still go up.

Choices, choices...
 
#7
Problem: Shooting our martyr with a job-issue rifle (a nice big Parker Hale 7.62 effort) at the base of the swede will, indeed, do the trick but with the attendant risk of the round travelling through him and hitting umpteen completely innocent civvies if he's in a crowd.

So some poor old SO19 sod has got to walk up to him, ram the muzzle of his Glock into the nape of his neck and fire upwards. Very fast. It's going to look really, really lovely in court and on the front page of The Guardian isn't it?

V!
 
#8
BedIn said:
The guidelines for dealing with suicide bombers are a bit of a chuckle. Apparently, some devices rely on the user releasing a switch rather than pressing one so shooting them will cause the device to detonate. The guidance also lists when they may initiate their device; on reaching their target,if they cannot get to their target and so choose another location and if they suspect the have been compromised. So if you shoot them or not, and if they get stopped or not they are going to explode. The guidance is aim for the base of their brain at the back which will prevent them moving at all once hit. So a highly accurate shot from the back is all that will help. The advice does also point out that often the bomber themselves don't have the ability to initiate the device, but this is a remote control unit held by another party who is watching. So even if shot they may still go up.

Choices, choices...
Oh good, we sneak up and shoot someone in the back of the neck, then find out its the wrong man.
 
#9
Vegetius said:
Problem: Shooting our martyr with a job-issue rifle (a nice big Parker Hale 7.62 effort) at the base of the swede will, indeed, do the trick but with the attendant risk of the round travelling through him and hitting umpteen completely innocent civvies if he's in a crowd.

So some poor old SO19 sod has got to walk up to him, ram the muzzle of his Glock into the nape of his neck and fire upwards. Very fast. It's going to look really, really lovely in court and on the front page of The Guardian isn't it?

V!
Could use frangible Ammo I suppose, this in theory would eliminate the risk.
 
#10
I saw a documentry on our local armed response unit, and they were all aiming at the stomache.

Another thing, isn't there a risk that if you shoot someone in the head it can cause spasms..like clenching fist on detonator spasm? - so does this mean the coppers are going for 'gob shots'?

<Edited because I can't type>
 
#11
I'm not an ammo spotter, but can you use Glasers (etc) with large calibre rifles? I doubt that CIVPOL will be allowed access to such ammo for a variety of reasons.

V!
 
#12
Hitting the right bit of the brain prevents any spasms on death, apparently.

I am a fan of 200m long cattle prods. Give them a zap whilst out of the danger area. Not too easy to wield in a narrow road, mind.
 
#13
Bedin

The right bit is the Medulla Oblongata; its the brains nerve junction box and its just above the nape of the neck. A round here stops the entire body working instantly as all the nerves pass through it.
[/SniperNerd]

BB
 
#14
What's the chances that a suicde bomber will choose a protected target?
Very rare, look at Israel, Russia the vast majority have been soft targets.
I also don't think suicide bombers usually mill around the area that long so a suicide bomber response unit can take them out.
But I guess you have to act like you are doing something productive for the public sake.
 

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