Tayside and Central Scotland

ATM gang raid police mistakenly shot at wrong car

Arbroath raid
Image caption The raiders were caught in Arbroath after stealing a cash machine in Carnoustie earlier that day

Police firearms officers who cornered an ATM theft gang at an Arbroath McDonald's restaurant shot at a car not involved in the crime, it has emerged.

Officers fired tyre-deflation rounds at the raiders' Mercedes after they tried to ram a police car to escape.

Two further rounds were discharged at another car which was mistakenly thought to be involved.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) said the officers' response was "wholly justified."

No members of the public were injured during the incident on 12 February last year.

The five men were arrested outside the restaurant after stealing an ATM in Carnoustie earlier that day.

'Extreme violence'

Seven men were convicted of blowing up cash machines at banks and supermarkets across England and Scotland at Liverpool Crown Court this week.

The Pirc report said the police firearms response was "necessary and proportionate" due to the high risk posed to the public.

Commissioner Kate Frame said: "The police response, to what was a significant threat to public safety and the officers themselves, was wholly justified.

"They had reliable intelligence to indicate they were dealing with suspects who had access to firearms, a history of extreme violence and who had previously used high-powered stolen vehicles to ram police vehicles and escape.

"When the suspects then used the same dangerous tactic to try and avoid arrest during this incident, the use of tyre deflation rounds to disable their vehicle was not only necessary but proportionate."

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