Federation challenges new Home Secretary on firearms

23 May 2018

Sajid Javid

Home Secretary Sajid Javid was challenged over the delay of a review looking into better protections for firearms officers.

Vice chair and firearms lead Che Donald demanded to know why it still had not been published - more than two and a half years after it was commissioned by former PM David Cameron after the fatal shooting of Jermaine Baker in 2015.

He said: “We have had two Prime Ministers since then and three Home Secretaries but this review has never been released or published.”

Now the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) has ordered that the officer involved in the foiled jailbreak incident – known as W80 - must face a Gross Misconduct hearing – even though he has twice been cleared of criminal charges by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Donald also invited the Home Secretary to meet the officer so that he could ‘better understand the impact of lengthy IOPC investigations on officers and their families’.

While Mr Javid failed to fully commit to the invitation because he did ‘not want to get into a meeting which might impact on any hearing’ but said he would ‘look into it’ but promised to chase up what had happened to the firearms review and recognised that firearms officers were faced with a difficult job, which the public expected them to do.

“All too often you hear that the police officers seem to be getting in trouble, not the criminals. The pendulum has just swung in the wrong way. I want to look at all of this. I understand the investigations cause anxiety,” he said.

He said it would be a priority after hearing from Nottinghamshire PC Steffan Griffiths whose ‘six long years’ under investigation by the IOPC’s predecessor the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) put himself and his family and a fellow colleague under considerable strain before being eventually acquitted and given an apology by the police watchdog.