Croydon shooting: Former police chief explains "gun could've been missed in search"

25 September 2020, 12:31

By Fiona Jones

A police officer was shot dead by a man being detained in a custody centre - former Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police Rod Jarman explains how the tragedy may have occurred.

A murder investigation is under way after an officer was shot dead at a police custody centre in south London.

Is is understood that the suspect being detained at Croydon custody centre shot the officer before turning the gun on himself just after 2am today.

The suspect, 23, is in critical condition in hospital with a gunshot wound, police said.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Mr Jarman observed that in the process of the suspect's detainment, "something really awful happened that's led up to this."

Mr Jarman took Nick through common practice when arresting someone, pointing out that there are "so many different scenarios" and actions to take depending on the suspect's level of aggression - although minimum force is key for officers.

In terms of searching, "It depends very much on the situation, if a person is acting very violently and they've been detained, they'll probably be searched in very great detail."

He continued: "If somebody is compliant there will be a less intrusive search because as soon as you start doing intrusive searches on everybody, you've increased the amount of forced being used. Our whole policing approach is to use a minimum amount of force.

"That's what makes policing in the UK so special is that officers take this personal risk in order to protect society from having to move to a more armed, more intensive policing regime."

Reflecting on the events, Mr Jarman was sure there would have been "some sort of search", however not every search finds everything as "some guns are surprisingly small and some people are able to conceal things within their body extremely well."

"It is not unusual for things to be found in a custody suite in a search that you would've expected to be found on the street."

Mr Jarman also clarified that the suspect's may not have been handcuffed in whilst in custody as it would have depended greatly on the level of aggression he exerted; the former officer explained that there is "huge" scrutiny on the police to use a minimum amount of force when detaining someone.

Watch the full interview below.