Statement in response to Anthony Grainger public inquiry

Thu 11th July 2019 4.11PM

Statement in response to Anthony Grainger public inquiry
Anthony Grainger aged 36 who was also a father of two and from Bolton was fatally shot by a GMP officer whilst behind the wheel of an Audi in Cheshire, 2012. The armed officer shot Anthony with his Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun by firing a single round through the windscreen and entered his chest hitting his heart and two lungs. This happened after a covert surveillance operation by GMP called Operation Shire which was conducted just a few days after Anthony was cleared after he was arrested and questioned for the suspected theft from a police officer. It was claimed that Anthony had stolen an unencrypted USB stick containing the names of over 1,000 police informants from a police officer.

A GMP spokesperson said: "We fully understand the heart-breaking effect that Anthony Grainger's death has had on his family and loved ones. We also fully understand that the public inquiry will have been very difficult for them. On behalf of Greater Manchester Police, we offer our condolences to Anthony Grainger's family and to his loved ones.

"We have received the public inquiry report into the death of Anthony Grainger and we are considering the findings of the chairman, HHJ Teague QC.

"In his report, the chairman has made a number of findings which are critical of GMP. The criticisms are wide-ranging and include criticisms of aspects of the planning and preparation of the firearms operation during which Anthony Grainger lost his life on the 3rd March 2012.

"The force, our commanders, and our officers do not set out on any policing operation with the intention of firearms being discharged. This case was no different and the safety of the public, the subjects of police operations and our officers is, and remains, our absolute priority.

"That being said, we undertake to consider each and every one of the chairman's findings and criticisms with the utmost care, attention and reflection. It is what the public would expect GMP to do in circumstances where criticisms have been made of the planning and preparation of a police operation in which a young man lost his life. It is what GMP will do.

"Working alongside our regional and national partners, we will consider all of the chairman's recommendations to assess what more can be done now, and in the future, to further improve the safety of police firearms operations.

"Many changes have already been made locally, regionally and nationally since the death of Anthony Grainger in 2012, most recently following an independent review conducted by the College of Policing. We will continue to strive to maximise the safety of all policing operations.

"We will not comment any further until we have had an opportunity to read the chairman's report in more detail."