Firearms officer removed from duty after girl injured when gun went off


A firearms officer whose gun went off injuring a seven-year-old girl during a visit to police headquarters for winners of a colouring competition has been removed from duty.

The child was hit in the lip by a bullet casing after an assault rifle was accidentally fired into the ground.

The girl was visiting Nottinghamshire Police force headquarters with her family as a prize for winning a colouring competition on October 30 last year when the gun was fired.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission were called in to investigate the incident by police.

Their report found there were no policies in place dealing with the use of live firearms at public events and that no risk assessment had been undertaken regarding the use of firearms at the demonstration.

The officer who fired the gun was been "redeployed to a divisional role with no firearm or taser duties" while another officer has since left the firearms department and a third has been recommended to undergo further training in planning public events, the IPCC said.

It added that authorised firearms officers who are on duty should not be expected to take part in public events in future as it would be "impossible" for guns to be shown off safely.

This is because officers could not unload their weapons to demonstrate them without breaking protocol, the report said.

IPCC commissioner Derrick Campbell said: "The seriousness of this matter cannot be underestimated. It is through good fortune that no-one was more seriously injured. 

"The officer's actions, while not deliberate, posed a genuine risk to those present.

"A number of sensible, logical recommendations have been made which the force has accepted, including replacing live firearms with training weapons at future public events."

Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: "This was an extremely serious incident which we referred to the IPCC immediately.

"Public safety is our number one priority and we do not take lightly the recommendations made in the report in respect of operational firearms and public displays and our training of firearms officers."