Police: Rules of Engagement

Home Department written question – answered on 15th October 2008.

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Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with the Association of Chief Police Officers on rules of engagement since 2006.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Crime & Security)

h olding answer 13 October 2008

There have been no such discussions. Operational tactics when using firearms are a matter for the police. The use of firearms by the police is closely governed by Guidelines produced by the Association of Chief Police Officers (available at):


Chief Officers must decide in any given circumstances whether armed officers should be authorised to use their firearms. Once authorised to use firearms, it is for the individual officer to ensure they act within the law. The Criminal Law Act 1967 provides that the police may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances to effect an arrest or to prevent crime.

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