Chief police officers have defended UK firearms teaching as being “among the best in the world”, despite a police officer being shot dead by a colleague in a training exercise.
PC Ian Terry from Burnley, Lancashire, died in hospital after he was shot in the chest by a fellow officer with a shotgun during routine firearms training in a warehouse in Manchester yesterday (Monday) morning.
Police said Terry – who had been a firearms officer for six years – was struck with a single bullet while officers used special weapons and ammunition designed to catch armed criminals in moving vehicles.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Health and Safety Executive have begun an inquiry into the shooting.
A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “The death of any police officer is a tragedy and the thoughts of the whole police community go out to the family and friends of the individual concerned.
“Firearms training for UK police officers is among the best in the world and includes common minimum standards for all forces in firearms training. Whilst any unintentional discharge is a cause for concern, training and debriefing and a review of procedures take place to ensure such unfortunate incidents are kept to an absolute minimum.”
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police told the BBC the training exercise had been “reasonably routine” and that similar exercises happened “fairly frequently”.