Express & Star

Police firearms row 'exposing widespread concern among rank and file officers'

The chairman of West Midlands Police Federation said rank and file officers had growing concerns about how criminal investigations into their work were being carried out.

Firearms-trained officers from West Mercia have been sent to London

Richard Cooke, federation chairman, was responding in the wake of a Metropolitan Police row that erupted over the weekend after an officer was charged with the murder of Chris Kaba, 24, who was shot dead last September.

It has been reported that up to 300 officers in the Met have stepped back from firearms duties as a result.

Mr Cooke said: "There is concern out there and it is widespread across the country. Officers want clarity and reassurance about their roles.

"No-one is suggesting that the law on murder needs to be changed.

"There is a sense that Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigations left more to be desired and there is a perception that officers are more likely to be charged than members of the public.

"The job comes with risk and if you are the subject of an investigation it may take years to be concluded. It's any wonder that anyone does the job. Thankfully they do it and do it well on the whole.

"I don't know about the dynamics of what's happening in the Met. Hopefully it will be resolved."

Meanwhile, West Mercia Police said a number of officers have been sent to London to help cover for firearms officers who had stood down.