Following the conclusion of the case surrounding the tragic death of PC Ian Terry, Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“Firstly I would like to pass on my sincere sympathies to Ian Terry’s family, friends and colleagues. To lose someone in such circumstances is heartbreaking and to have to wait so long to get to the point where we are at now merely amplifies their pain. After five years of delays, hopefully Ian’s family are at a point where they can move on and start to rebuild their lives.
“Ian Terry’s death was an avoidable tragedy that should never have happened. I sought, and have been given, the assurance that it would now be impossible for something similar to happen again. Greater Manchester Police have radically changed their procedures for firearms training. Indeed the changes that have been introduced as a result of Ian’s death now mean that GMP’s firearms training is considered amongst the best in the country.
“This is, of course, too late for Ian’s loved ones, but I hope that the measures GMP have taken to protect their staff gives some comfort to his family that no-one else will have to go through the ordeal they have had to endure.
“This entire process has taken far too long. It is unacceptable that Ian’s family have had to wait five years to get to this point – it is contemptuous of them and serves no-one.
“When the police get things wrong, it should not take such an extraordinary length of time to get to the bottom of what happened. This is particularly true in cases where there has been loss of life. The agencies tasked with these kinds of investigations need to improve and the barriers which cause delay need to be swept away. If it’s a case of bureaucracy then they need to cut through the red tape or carry out their investigations in a more intelligent way. If it’s an issue of staffing then the Government has a responsibility to ensure resources are adequate.
“These protracted investigations cause unnecessary additional heartbreak to families, they affect confidence in policing and they are not in the interests of justice. I will be raising this with the Home Secretary to see how we can all work together to make the improvements that this case demonstrates are clearly necessary.”
PC Terry died after being shot during a training exercise in June 2008.
A Greater Manchester Police officer was found of breaching health and safety laws in connection with the incident. The officer, one of two trainers, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court on 12 July. A second officer was cleared. Both were granted anonymity.