Manchester

IPCC justifies Greater Manchester Police tactics

A police operation against armed raiders which saw one shot three times used "justified and proportionate force", the police watchdog has said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) praised the bravery of the Greater Manchester Police officers involved in the action.

Gavin Noakes, 30, from Salford, was shot three times by a firearms officer.

Richard Walsh, 26, of Oldham, sustained a broken nose and his brother Jonathan, 28, from Newton Heath, was tasered.

All three, and a fourth man William Moore, 28, of Ordsall, were convicted subsequently of criminal offences including conspiracy to rob following the arrest on 25 September 2009.

The IPCC conducted an independent investigation into the incident following a referral from Greater Manchester Police.

Hit on head

Acting on intelligence, firearms officers moved to arrest the men in the car park of a Co-operative supermarket in Haslingden, Lancashire.

They challenged the men and Jonathan Walsh was shot with a taser as officers tried to remove him from a Ford Focus.

He was hit on the head as police tried to apply handcuffs.

Other firearms officers challenged Noakes, who was driving a Mini, and Walsh, who was his passenger.

Noakes drove the car forwards and backwards to escape. Two firearms officers shot at him, believing the car was being used as a weapon against fellow officers.

He was struck by three rounds.

Walsh was forcibly removed from the Mini by other officers and arrested.

IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: "This was an armed and dangerous criminal gang who were intent on escaping justice. They failed thanks to the bravery of the officers involved in the operation."

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