The shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground station in 2005 raised acute issues about operational practice, legitimacy, accountability and policy making regarding police use of fatal force. It dramatically exposed a policy, referred to popularly as 'shoot to kill', which came not from Parliament but from the non-statutory ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers). This vital and timely book unravels these often misunderstood matters with a fresh look at firearms practice and policy in a traditionally 'unarmed' police service. It is essential reading for all those interested in the state's role in defining coercion and in policing a democracy.
Maurice Punch has worked at universities in the UK, the US and the Netherlands - where he lives - and his research expertise is on policing and corporate crime. He has written several books including Zero tolerance policing (The Policy Press, 2006) and Police corruption (Willan, 2009) and published in many journals. He is now an independent researcher and consultant. He is Visiting Professor at the Mannheim Centre of Criminology, London School of Economics and Political Science, and also in the School of Law, King's College London.
Contents: Part One: State-sanctioned killings: Use of fatal force by the state in the UK; International state and state agency deviance; Part Two: Dilemmas for the state arising from The Troubles in Northern Ireland: The slippery slope; Rough justice and dirty tricks; Part Three: Covert policy and evasion of accountability: Conclusion.
"A considered, insightful and accessible treatment of a 21st century police policy dilemma." British Journal of Criminology
"This book provides a lively and accessible overview of a neglected and widely misunderstood subject. It is essential reading for students, academics, police officers, policy makers, politicians and all those concerned about police use of deadly force." Ben Bowling, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, King's College London
"Since international terrorism came to London streets and the mistaken shooting dead of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005, issues around armed policing have yearned for serious, in-depth analysis. This excellent book achieves this and it should be a 'must read' for all those involved with, or interested in, the profound issues of life and death that lie at the heart of Maurice Punch's analysis." P.A.J. Waddington, University of Wolverhampton