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Shooting to Kill?: Policing, Firearms and Armed Response

Shooting to Kill?: Policing, Firearms and Armed Response

Peter Squires, Peter Kennison

ISBN: 978-0-470-77926-2

Apr 2010

260 pages

Out of stock



Shooting to Kill? Policing, Firearms and Armed Response explores the dilemma of armed response policing in the UK, and policing in a gun culture.
  • Offers the first critical exploration of the ACPO code of guidance on Police Use of Firearms and other tactical manuals
  • Includes interviews with senior police firearms managers and critical case studies of police firearms incidents
  • Features the first in-depth, academic analysis of the Stockwell shooting incident and the Kratos policy
  • Provides a review of key developments in armed response policing around the world
  • Describes the crucial phases in armed response policy development in Britain and explores the consequences of arming the police

About the Authors.


List of Abbreviations.

1. Introduction: The Hardest Job in Policing?

Shots Around theWorld.


Changes, Mistakes and Learning in Police Circles.

Contexts, Command, Frequencies and Victims.

Structure and Contents.

Timeline on PoliceWeapons and Firearms.

2. The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and 'Operation Kratos'.

Stockwell, 22 July.

Briefing and Kratos.

3. Old Myths and Changing Realities.

DiscoursesWithin and About Policing.

Tooling Up?

Driving out the Dixon Myth.

New Problems and 'Exceptional' Measures.

4. Shootings, Policy Shifts and Competing Pressures.

Continuing Official Caution.


Tragedy and Farce.

After Hungerford.

'Event Driven' or 'Gun Driven'.

Shooting to Kill?

Men, Guns and Ammo.

Replica Arguments and ReplicaWeapons.

5. Police Politics and Morale.

Hanging, Shooting and Opinion Polling.

Click by Click?

The 'Greatest British Defeat since Dunkirk'.

New Frontiers and Supply Side Questions.

The Most Important Decision for the Future of British Policing - Since Last Year.

War and Order: The New Continuum of Force.

The Dunblane Primary School Massacre and its Aftermath.

6. Policing in a 'Gun Culture'? Policing of Guns and Policing with Guns.

Unpacking the Notion of a 'Gun Culture'.

Guns and Gangs.

Gang Studies and 'Cultures of Violence'.

Policing and Enforcement Action in 'Gangland'.

Gun Crime Hotspots and 'Problem-oriented Policing'.

Operation Ceasefire.

Bringing It All Back Home: 'Gunchester'.

Policing of Guns, Policing with Guns.

7. Intelligence Dilemmas, Armed Response Policy and Research.

Gang Culture and the 'Trident Model'.

From Reactive to Proactive.

Intelligence-led Dilemmas.

Research on Recent Police Shootings.

8. Critical Case Studies of Selected Police-involved Shooting Incidents.

The Shooting of James Ashley in Hastings, 1998.

The Shooting of Harry Stanley, 1999.

The Shooting of Andrew Kernan, 2001.

Caution at Highmoor Cross, 2004.

Ambush at Chandler's Ford, 2007.

9. Concluding Themes: Losing by Appearing toWin?



""In summary, Squires and Kennison's book gives detailed and useful accounts of some of the major police shooting incidents of the last 20 years and some of the controversy and problems that surrounded them, particularly with regard to failures in police operations will no doubt be of interest to a wide audience of students and policy makers concerned to understand more about such a widely misunderstood subject."" (British Journal of Criminology, January 2011)