Shooting to Kill: Policing, Firearms and Armed Response / Edition 1

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In a few terrifying moments at Stockwell tube station in 2005, eight shots fired by armed police officers ended the life of an innocent Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes. This incident resulted in the termination of a cautiously developed compromise regarding the arming and deployment of police officers, and the 'rules of engagement' within which they operated. The Independent Police Complaints Commission subsequently called for a thorough and wide-ranging public debate about the police use of firearms in the UK.

Shooting to Kill? Policing, Firearms and Armed Response represents a valuable contribution to this ongoing debate. The authors combine their expertise to identify the key drivers of police armed response policy. They identify the historical phases in the police use of firearms, showing how policing in a 'gun culture' and the post-9/11 era have come to shape contemporary police paramilitarism, and exploring the contradictions and ambiguities this presents for armed response policy and practice. Finally, by addressing six controversial police armed response case studies - including an in-depth analysis of the Stockwell shooting - the authors draw out the broader tensions, uncertainties, and dilemmas that arise in this most difficult and controversial area of policing.

Both provocative and timely, Shooting to Kill? Policing, Firearms and Armed Response provides readers with a wealth of information for reflection and consideration about how choices made now will affect a twenty-first century world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In summary, Squires and Kennison's book gives detailed and useful accounts of some of the major police shooting incidents of the last 20 years and some of the controversy and problems that surrounded them, particularly with regard to failures in police operations will no doubt be of interest to a wide audience of students and policy makers concerned to understand more about such a widely misunderstood subject." (British Journal of Criminology, January 2011)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470779262
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/10/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.91 (w) x 9.78 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Squires is Professor of Criminology and Public Policy at the University of Brighton. He has published a number of books, including Gun Culture or Gun Control and Community Safety. Squires’ recent work has focused upon gun crime and policing, and gangs and anti-social behaviour.

Peter Kennison was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Criminology and Sociology at Middlesex University. He was also Undergraduate Programme Leader for Criminal Justice and Criminology, and Policing. Kennison was a police officer in London for over 25 years.

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Table of Contents


About the Authors.


List of Abbreviations.

1. Introduction: The Hardest Job in Policing?

Shots Around theWorld.


Changes, Mistakes and Learning in Police Circles.

Contexts, Command, Frequencies and Victims.

Structure and Contents.

Timeline on PoliceWeapons and Firearms.

2. The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and ‘Operation Kratos'.

Stockwell, 22 July.

Briefing and Kratos.

3. Old Myths and Changing Realities.

DiscoursesWithin and About Policing.

Tooling Up?

Driving out the Dixon Myth.

New Problems and ‘Exceptional' Measures.

4. Shootings, Policy Shifts and Competing Pressures.

Continuing Official Caution.


Tragedy and Farce.

After Hungerford.

‘Event Driven' or ‘Gun Driven'.

Shooting to Kill?

Men, Guns and Ammo.

Replica Arguments and ReplicaWeapons.

5. Police Politics and Morale.

Hanging, Shooting and Opinion Polling.

Click by Click?

The ‘Greatest British Defeat since Dunkirk'.

New Frontiers and Supply Side Questions.

The Most Important Decision for the Future of British Policing - Since Last Year.

War and Order: The New Continuum of Force.

The Dunblane Primary School Massacre and its Aftermath.

6. Policing in a ‘Gun Culture'? Policing of Guns and Policing with Guns.

Unpacking the Notion of a ‘Gun Culture'.

Guns and Gangs.

Gang Studies and ‘Cultures of Violence'.

Policing and Enforcement Action in ‘Gangland'.

Gun Crime Hotspots and ‘Problem-oriented Policing'.

Operation Ceasefire.

Bringing It All Back Home: ‘Gunchester'.

Policing of Guns, Policing with Guns.

7. Intelligence Dilemmas, Armed Response Policy and Research.

Gang Culture and the ‘Trident Model'.

From Reactive to Proactive.

Intelligence-led Dilemmas.

Research on Recent Police Shootings.

8. Critical Case Studies of Selected Police-involved Shooting Incidents.

The Shooting of James Ashley in Hastings, 1998.

The Shooting of Harry Stanley, 1999.

The Shooting of Andrew Kernan, 2001.

Caution at Highmoor Cross, 2004.

Ambush at Chandler's Ford, 2007.

9. Concluding Themes: Losing by Appearing toWin?



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