Dorset

Bournemouth police officer 'accidentally shot driver in car stop'

Scene of police shooting in Bournemouth Image copyright BNPS
Image caption Armed police stopped the black Mercedes in August 2018

An armed police officer accidentally shot a driver in the arm while trying to stop his car, a police watchdog report has concluded.

Officers stopped the Mercedes car in Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, on 7 August 2018.

The officer put their hand on the driver's door but accidentally fired their Glock pistol when the car pulled away, the report said.

The two people in the car later had proceedings against them dropped.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) inquiry concluded the officer had not committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.

Investigators also looked into the planning and safety of the operation by Dorset Police.

Image copyright BNPS
Image caption The police watchdog said the stop was carried out in line with national guidelines

They concluded it was carried out where no members of the public were in the immediate vicinity and the Mercedes had slowed to a crawl close to a roundabout.

Catrin Evans, IOPC regional director, said: "We are satisfied the shot fired by a Dorset Police officer into the car window was unintentional, and brought about by the Mercedes moving off."

The officer has been advised to complete a refresher armed response training course before returning to full firearms duties.

Dorset Police Assistant Chief Constable Julie Fielding said a "full debrief" would be held into the events of the night to see if there were any "learning points".

The passenger in the Mercedes was later charged in connection with a stabbing but no evidence was offered on the first day of his trial and a not guilty finding was returned.

The driver was charged with dangerous driving in relation to the police stop and assisting an offender. His case was discontinued and not guilty verdicts returned.

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