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Aud der "Times-Online" :

January 24, 2003

Police marksmen seek stress payout

By Simon de Bruxelles

TWO police marksmen who say that they suffered stress- related illnesses after shooting a bank robber are suing for compensation.

The former firearms officers Andrew Hurley and Alan Edwards blame senior officers for failing to counsel or debrief them after the robber was shot in the shoulder as he tried to escape. Mr Hurley, who is unemployed, is seeking £250,000 compensation at Cardiff County Court from Gwent Police for lost earnings and pension contributions.

Mr Hurley, 34, was given a bravery award for shooting the 19-year-old robber — who was, in fact, armed with an imitation revolver — in Newbridge, Gwent, in October 2000. He left the police force five months after the shooting, claiming that he was suffering from stress.

Mr Hurley said: “Before the shooting, I regarded myself as a very good officer who gave 110 per cent. Afterwards I . . . became depressed, very anxious and aggressive. I felt let down by the force.”

Mr Edwards, 33, told the court: “I was exposed to an extremely frightening incident and there was a total lack of concern and support from senior officers.”

Mr Edwards, who did not fire a shot during the incident, has left the force through ill health after being kept on full pay for a year. He is mounting legal action for compensation separately from Mr Hurley.

The case continues.

Na dann Prost, Mahlzeit!!!

Wer von solchen "Freunden und Helfern" geschützt wird, der braucht wahrlich keine Feinde mehr!!! :evil: :evil: :evil: :puke: :puke: :puke:

GRUß

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Das Ganze nochmals ausführlicher:

Press Association

January 23, 2003, Thursday

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 1108 words

HEADLINE: POLICEMAN 'TREATED INSENSITIVELY' AFTER SHOOTING

BYLINE: Rachel Williams, PA News

BODY:

A colleague of a former policeman who is suing his force for a quarter of million pounds after he shot a criminal told today how he was treated in an "insensitive and uncaring" way after the incident.

Former firearms officer Andrew Hurley, 34, claims he suffered post-traumatic stress because he was not properly cared for after he shot a robber in the shoulder during a hold-up at the HSBC bank in Newbridge, Gwent, in October 2000.

He claims Gwent Police had no policy in place to deal with the aftermath of such events.

Mr Hurley was the first officer from the force to shoot a criminal. Today Cardiff County Court heard how Mr Hurley, who has since left the force, was kept isolated from the other officers, and how they had been told they could be arrested if they refused to give blood samples.

They were also prevented from washing blood off their hands for several hours after the incident, and were told that a debriefing policy which would have made their ordeal easier had not been adopted, the court heard.

Pc Andrew Hughes told the court how he and another officer, David Haywood, were told to stay in a lecture theatre at the Gwent Police headquarters while Mr Hurley was kept on his own in the firearms office.

"We were kept apart," said Pc Hughes, a friend of Mr Hurley since 1985 who had served in the Army with him.

"We were stopped from going to wash the blood off our hands.

"We were told in no uncertain terms that we risked being arrested to get our blood.

"We were offered white suits, the same that murderers and rapists are. I would say that was insensitive and uncaring."

Pc Haywood, a firearms officer for 10 years, told the court they had been kept in the lecture theatre for at least an hour.

"We were constantly asking to see Andrew Hurley and we knew that he must be in an absolute state of shock, and be beside himself with worry," he said.

"Nobody would allow us to go near him.

"There came a time when we were allowed to see him but it was too little, too late.

"I imagine it was easier to keep Andy on his own to put pressure on him to give a blood sample than have us all together.

"We were in a very confused and traumatised condition."

Pc Haywood said another officer also told them they could be arrested in order to get blood samples, after they twice refused to give such samples.

"It was inferred that there was going to be a criminal investigation and power could be invoked to take blood from us," he said.

They were later told that there was no threat of arrest but Mr Haywood said he still believed it had been implied initially.

"It was distressing enough for us, so God knows what it must have been like for Andy sat in the office on his own," he said.

Pc Haywood also said a factual debriefing form had been shown to the officers but that they were not asked to fill it in.

"It was being waved around in the office," he said. "There was something said along the lines of 'if we had adopted this policy you would be filling it in and would be on your way home'.

"We weren't asked to complete it. We were shown it." Mr Hurley carried on working after the incident but "wasn't himself", Pc Haywood said.

"I think he was suppressing his feelings. He certainly wasn't himself. He just wasn't right. He wore a mask.

"He was traumatised. He was neglected.

"If he had been properly treated after the incident, had there been a post-incident procedure in place, I would still be working with him and he wouldn't be now where he is."

A proper debriefing was organised more than two months after the incident on a weekend when the officers involved had all booked time off and were unable to attend, Pc Haywood said.

Pc Hughes told the court the officers were told to "shut up" when they started talking about the incident.

In a previous statement about the day's events he said they were kept "virtually incommunicado".

He conceded that it was probably for reasons of forensic evidence that the officers were not allowed to wash their hands for several hours after the incident, but said it was still unacceptable.

"They should have sorted it out far more quickly than by 2pm," Pc Hughes said.

"It could have carried some disease.

Gwent Police dispute the claims.

Mr Hurley, from Newport, is suing Gwent Police for negligence in failing to minimise the risk of psychiatric injury after the shooting incident.

The 19-year-old he shot, Cemalettin Ortancil, from Tooting in London, was sentenced in February 2001 to 11 years' detention for stealing £9,000 from the bank.

Former constable Stan Scarisbrick, one of the people who was involved in looking after the officers after the shooting, conceded that the post-incident procedure had been flawed.

"It wasn't completed in the way it should have been," Mr Scarisbrick said.

But he said officers had been offered a factual debrief form to fill in, and in a statement about the day said: "Had Pc Hurley completed the form he would have been allowed home from police headquarters much earlier."

Mr Scarisbrick, who gave up work in November 2000 for health reasons, said he would have expected a full debriefing to have taken place earlier than January 5.

Chief Superintendent Joy Lott, who had overall responsibility for the officers after the incident, said the procedure she had employed was in line with the relevant chapter of the manual on police use of firearms and Gwent Police's own firearms policy.

"I accept there was not an individual force procedure in relation to post-incident procedures," she said.

The officers involved in the incident had been trained under the Essex Constabulary's procedure, which Gwent Police has now adopted with some modifications.

Chief Supt Lott said she had not been aware in detail of what the officers had been trained to expect.

She said she had spoken to all three officers about the request from the investigating team for blood samples but had never meant to imply that they could be arrested if they refused to give them.

"I advised them that the request was being made, but I also advised them of the arguments on both sides in relation to such a request," she said.

"I was informed that there was some concern over the request and I reiterated what I said earlier.

"If they thought I meant otherwise that was absolutely not the case."

Chief Supt Lott also said she had offered Pc Hurley counselling but that he had refused it.

She also made sure that one of the first things she did after the incident was to contact the Police Federation and a force welfare officer, she said, and both attended.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow.

GRUß

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