Conclusion: From Bobby to Robocop?

Maurice Punch

in Shoot to kill

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9781847424730
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303350 | DOI:
Conclusion: From Bobby to Robocop?

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This chapter concludes that the police use of firearms is always potentially fatal and that the deployment of more guns and firearms means more casualties, mistakes and deaths. It concludes that accountability and credible oversight should be possessed by the members of the police as they have the ultimate police decision-making over the life of a presumed fugitive or suspect. This great responsibility hence calls for a more polished and more professional policing profession. It calls for constant and continual improvement in leadership, command and control structures and procedures, competencies in handling major incidents and an open relationship and communication with the public on policing policy. It also criticises the policing policy based on the aftermath of the Stockwell shooting where the British police moved away from the ‘shoot-to-prevent’ paradigm towards the ‘shoot-to-kill’ paradigm where the inevitable outcome is death. It also concludes that police should not be allowed to decide matters on their own as the crucial issue of police firearms use has ramifications for the future and the identity of British policing. This carries great societal significance because in the consent model police seek their legitimacy in the wider society, and there is no area that requires legitimacy, institutionally and individually, more that when police deprive someone of their life. This chapter hence calls for parliamentary, professional and public debate to bring practice and policy on the police use of firearms and fatal force into the public domain.

Keywords: use of firearms; police; accountability; oversight; policing; improvement; leadership; command; control; competencies

Chapter.  9077 words. 

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