• Robert Spicer

Police death fines

Police death: firearms officer and police force fined

Health and Safety Executive v Greater Manchester Police and another (2013) Manchester Crown Court, July 12.

Greater Manchester Police and a firearms officer have been fined after a police constable was shot dead during training.

Significant points of the case

• In June 2008 PC Ian Terry was engaged in a firearms training session at a disused warehouse in Manchester. He was role playing an armed criminal. The training session involved practising to apprehend armed criminals from a car. Terry was killed by a colleague using a shotgun. He suffered severe fatal chest injuries.

• The officer responsible for the course, referred to as F to protect his identity, ran a course with a lethal combination of factors including the use of live ammunition in an aggressive scenario.

• Greater Manchester Police pleaded guilty to failing to adequately monitor the training courses which were run by its firearms unit.

Greater Manchester Police was fined £166,666 plus £90,000 costs for a breach of section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.

F was fined £2000 plus £500 costs under section 7 of the 1974 Act for failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other persons who might be affected by his acts or omissions at work.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive is reported to have commented after the case that F had been found guilty of failing to protect his colleague by introducing dangerous and reckless elements into a training exercise.

The HSE has commented that the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act apply to this matter and a court order protecting the identity of F.

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