Socialist Worker

Cops used out of date profile of Anthony Grainger, inquiry into his death hears

by Eleanor Claxton-Mayer
Issue No. 2541

A police officer who built a profile of Anthony Grainger did not intend firearms officers to use it, a public inquiry has heard.

Anthony was shot dead by a firearms officer after police moved to arrest three men in a stolen Audi in Culceth, Cheshire, on 3 March 2012. It was part of “Operation Shire”, which Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had launched the previous year to investigate the group for suspected armed robberies.

DC Rachel Griffiths had produced a “pen profile”, an informal character description used by police, on Anthony that was used for Operation Shire.

But the inquiry heard that it was designed for a different operation, Operation Samana. DC Griffiths said, “It was a separate operation that happened months before [Operation] Shire, but that is what I was asked to produce this profile for.”

DC Griffiths said that the purpose of the profile was “an intelligence overview for Operation Samana on Anthony Grainger and Colin Waters”.

“I would expect a bespoke one for firearms.”

The inquiry heard of a series of mistakes associated with these pen profiles. Jason Beer QC, the lead counsel for the inquiry, said that there was “no training, no policy, no quality assurance” for making them.

DC Griffiths said there was “no requirement” for anyone to check the information and that “they would assume it was accurate.”

DC Griffiths said that she had mistakenly read information about Stuart Grainger, Anthony’s brother, as relating to Anthony. This was about an offence of attempted robbery that was ordered to “lie on the file”, when prosecution is not pursued.

The inquiry heard that this charge was in fact relating to another man, Peter Anderson—and not either Anthony or Stuart Grainger.

Beer questioned Robert Cousen, who was the senior investigating officer for Operation Shire, about Anthony’s previous criminal record. He asked him to “confirm that Mr Grainger had no previous convictions involving the possession or use of firearms”.

“Yes, there is nothing on here that suggests that,” said Cousen.

He also confirmed that Anthony had no previous convictions for the “possession of offensive weapons”, “robbery” or “offenses involving the use of violence”.

The inquiry heard that firearms officers were briefed on the 3 March 2012 that “Anthony Grainger has previously conspired to commit robberies with firearms and violence”.

They were told, “There is intelligence to suggest that these subjects were responsible for a robbery where they broke into a bank and lay in wait for staff to arrive.

“On their arrival, they were held at gunpoint using shotgun, handgun, tied up and forced to hand over”.

But Cousen told the inquiry, “I am aware there was no evidence or intelligence in relation to Anthony or in relation to Robert Rimmer”.

Beer asked, “Would you agree this a serious error … that it suggests to AFOs [Authorised Firearms Officers] that Anthony Grainger and Robert Rimmer participated in a robbery when a shotgun and/or handgun were used?”

Cousen agreed that this was an “error”.

The inquiry continues.


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News
Fri 17 Feb 2017, 16:44 GMT
Issue No. 2541
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