It was the best way to deal with a dangerous situation
THE Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into the shooting of Robert Haines found that Echo 19, the officer who fired the fatal shots, was justified in his actions. The IPCC, which had investigators on the scene within hours of the shooting, released its findings, which it had presented to the coroner in November 2007, after Monday’s verdict of lawful killing from the inquest. The IPCC found:
The officer’s decision to discharge a firearm was an appropriate and justifiable response to the threat Mr Haines presented to him, the public and his colleagues.
It was justified for the police to conduct surveillance on Mr Haines and other suspects in relation to the series of armed robberies.
It was highly unlikely the arrest of Mr Haines prior to October 31 would have provided sufficient evidence to charge him with an offence. IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin said Mr Haines’s family had rightly asked if anything could have been done that may have changed the outcome. He said: “Our thorough investigation set out to answer those questions and I hope it has helped Mr Haines’s family and loved ones understand what happened and why. “The officer was responding to a clear threat to his and others’ lives when he discharged his gun. “The decision making and planning during the operation was also subjected to review and it was found to be professional throughout. “The review considered whether an arrest could have been made at a different point in the operation. “We concluded that any arrest before the robbery would more than likely not have gathered sufficient evidence to charge and the decision to intervene as he entered the car park provided the best opportunity to safely control a dynamic and potentially dangerous situation.”