Big fine due for police after firearms officer loses part of finger in machine


A police force is facing a hefty fine after a counter-terrorism firearms officer had part of his trigger finger sliced off in a cutting machine used to destroy seized guns.

West Midlands Police admitted breaching workplace safety rules in failing to ensure staff welfare over the incident and will be sentenced later at Birmingham Crown Court.

The incident involved an experienced officer and took place at a force facility on July 16, 2014.

The force said it had now introduced "stringent measures" for weapons disposal to prevent any repeats.

Assistant chief constable Marcus Beale, speaking after the force's conviction last week, said: "Following the officer's injury in July 2014, the force put in place stringent measures to increase the safety of our staff when disposing of firearms.

"Providing a safe working environment and safe working practices is always a priority for West Midlands Police."

He added that the officer was still employed with the force.

Mr Beale added: "Throughout the period, we have supported the officer and are delighted that he has recently been able to resume his specialist firearms responsibilities.

"At the earliest opportunity we have implemented necessary steps to prevent this type of incident from happening again."

West Midlands Police, which is the largest police force outside the Met, had already pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.