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Met rejects IOPC request for outside force to hold W80 misconduct

Met says its support for officer W80 and better legal protections for operational firearms officers 'does not impinge' on holding misconduct hearing

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that the directed misconduct hearing involving firearms officer W80 will take place but rejected the IOPC's suggestion another force should run proceedings due to the force's reluctance to pursue the case and Commissioner Mark Rowley's wider appeal for more legal safeguards for armed officers 

Instead, a member of the hearing panel, which will be chaired by an independent lawyer, will be from another force.

W80 shot Jermaine Baker, from Tottenham, north London, as police stopped a plot to snatch two prisoners from a van near Wood Green Crown Court in December 2015.

Prosecutors said in 2017 that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges over the shooting, but the IPCC directed that the officer should face misconduct proceedings.

This sparked a lengthy legal battle between the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the officer, who was supported by the Met.

In July this year the Supreme Court ruled in the IOPC’s favour.

In a statemment the Met said on Monday: “Given these events took place eight years ago and the ongoing process of investigation and inquiry has had a significant impact on all concerned, it is in everyone’s interests we proceed to the misconduct hearing and conclude this matter at the earliest opportunity.

“We have also considered the IOPC request that we ask another force to hold the hearing.

“Our position remains that we do not accept the Met’s objections to the IOPC’s earlier direction to hold a gross misconduct hearing, or our wider call for support and legal reassurance for armed officers, impinges upon our independence, nor the impartiality of the misconduct hearing process.

“The hearing arrangements for W80 will be made by the Met. However, the police panel member will be from another force and the hearing led by an independent legally qualified chair.

“Arrangements are now being made for the hearing to proceed as soon as possible.”

It said the length of time being taken to resolve the case, in part due to the legal battle involving the force, shows the need for a Government review of how firearms officers are held to account when they kill someone.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We’ve raised our concerns about the importance of public confidence in the independence of the process and those concerns remain.

“We note the Met’s response and it is now the force’s duty to bring the proceedings to their proper conclusion.”

Mr Baker was among a group of men trying to free Izzet Eren and his co-defendant as they were transported from Wormwood Scrubs to be sentenced for a firearms offence.

A number of men were jailed in 2016 for their parts in the plot.

A public inquiry in July 2022 found Mr Baker had been “lawfully killed” but said police made numerous failures in the planning and execution of the operation.

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