Shooting to kill?: policing, firearms and armed response

Peter Squires, Peter Kennison

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authoredpeer-review


In a few terrifying moments at the 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 Responseprovides readers with a wealth of information for reflection and consideration about how choices made now will affect a twenty-first century world
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationChichester
Number of pages256
ISBN (Print)9780470779262
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

© 2010 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Policing
  • firearms
  • armed response


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