Police. Shoot to kill official

[q]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. [/q]
I never understood that, if your shooting at someone, you're trying to kill them.

Or does the journo mean that the police are more likley to start sshooting at suspects?
Problem is, by the time they have identified a suicide bomber and called for armed response - it's too late. Unless they are going to start arming every copper(never happen), this scheme will not work.
Well shooting at central mass there's always the chance of killing the target, but armed cops will shoot, then call immediate medical support to try & save life won't they, I suppose in this case they're saying, they are gonna try and get a headshot and make sure that they are down for good. Lots more time spent on the ranges for officers I imagine then. Good luck to them, but in reality, suicide bombers are a menace that is nearly impossible to combat fully.
Unless they are going to start arming every copper
This is one of those cases where I'd be very much inclined towards saying "never say never".
Biscuits_Brown said:
Unless they are going to start arming every copper
This is one of those cases where I'd be very much inclined towards saying "never say never".
Fair point, but the majority of coppers don't want to be armed. Every time the Police Federation has asked it's members if they want to carry firearms as part of normal duties, the answer has always been no.

Also, it would take a long time to train every frontline police officer to an acceptable standard. And if highly trained, armed to the teeth soldiers and marines can't stop suicide bombers in Iraq, what chance does poor old Plod have?

Last year, the Inspector of Constabulary recommended setting up an elite, paramilitary force who would provide VIP Protection. Sod the VIP's - I want an elite, paramilitary force on the streets protecting US.

Even if they can't stop the terrorists, they can always be used against drug dealers, East European people smugglers etc.
By even using the term 'shoot to kill', it implies that there are other types:

Practice shoot is the obvious one. Shoot to frighten perhaps, what about shoot to slightly wound? I am sure there are more.
Army shoots to incapacitate. that is to prevent te target remaining as a threat centre of mass is reasonable for this but often more than one shot is required.

Dead is as incapacitated as you can get.

Police are generally trained to shoot to stop an offender. I suppose this policy brings them to a dead stop. Still even a head shot is not a garruntee of an instant shutdown.Without going into detail there are only a couple of places where a hit will ensure this.
A trained marksman with a longarm has a fair certainty of hitting one or another of these places given favourable circumstances. A trained sniper has a fair certaintyof hitting one or another of these places in most circumstances. A street copper with a handgun? Shouldn't think so.
Poor coppers. A difficult enough job has just got much harder.
Shoot to kill sounds a distinct change in the rules of engagement. Whatever happened to shoot to save life, and after a proper warning?

Q: Why did you shoot him 10 times?
A: I ran out of bullets.

Can't see many coppers going for that one, unless the situation changes significantly.
This has been previously discussed here:


As for "shooting to kill," police are taught exactly the same marksmanship principles as soldiers, i.e. you aim at the largest central body mass of the target.

You are also taught close quarters, sense-of-direction shooting including double-tapping for suspects using body armour.

Admittedly, my knowledge is out of date, as I haven't been an AFO for almost six years. Saying that, I know plenty of 'em. Having asked my man in the black nomex suit about this, it would seem that what we are talking about is specific operating procedures whereby people are going to get slotted at point blank range with a Glock in the back of their swede if they are shown to be a suicide bomber, obviously without warning. This sets a new precedent for police firearms operations. The operators would not be "normal" armed AFOs, but specialist firearms guys.

Like I said in the other thread, it's gonna look luvverly in court and god forbid a mistake gets made. It'll really come on top.

Can you imagine the outcry if this were to happen, gets all over news, CCTV whatever, see a plain clothes copper literally walk up to suicide bomber and assasinate him, nothign wrong with it, but a lot will cry out e.g. no chance to surrender etc. which is crap, but they will.
I quote my old CSM in the UDR:

"Statistics prove that 100% of those shot dead NEVER do it again" :)

He was also fond of:

"An inquest is much easier to attend than an enquiry"

Mind you our challenge was "Stop or I will shoot you AGAIN"

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