Anthony Grainger’s killing the result of ‘catastrophic’ police failures

The report of the public inquiry into the fatal police shooting of Anthony Grainger has been released today.

The Chairman concludes that Anthony died as a result of a calamitous combination of errors and blunders by Greater Manchester Police. He decided that the police operation breached  Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The damning report concludes that there were serious inaccuracies in threat assessments, seriously misleading briefings of firearms officers, a fundamentally flawed tactical approach, and planning of the operation that was incompetent and dangerous. The seriously misleading briefing led the officer who shot Anthony to wrongly assume that the subjects of the operation would be carrying firearms, that they were active members of an organised crime group, and that they were about to commit a robbery.

The Chairman concludes that Anthony died because GMP failed to authorise, plan or conduct the MASTS operation on 3 March in such a way as to minimise, to the greatest extent possible, recourse to the use of lethal force. Several officers were not qualified to perform the role they did, including the two most senior officers on the ground. The use of specialist ammunition was “in flagrant breach of the Code of Practice…” and invited the proper authority to determine whether any organisation or individual has committed a criminal offence in connection with this.

The Chairman also concludes that officers at the highest level of Greater Manchester Police, including two Assistant Chief Constables, provided evidence which was intended to mislead.

Anthony’s family have asked the CPS to bring criminal proceedings against officers of GMP. The IOPC will also be invited to investigate various officers with a view to disciplinary proceedings. Anthony’s family have called for urgent root and branch reform of GMP generally and their firearms unit in particular, to avoid the public being put at risk.

Anthony’s mother, father in law, and brother were represented by Leslie Thomas QC and Adam Straw, instructed by Farleys solicitors. Anthony’s partner was represented by Pete Weatherby QC and Fiona Murphy, instructed by Bhatt Murphy solicitors.

The report can be found here.

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