Armed officers found to have acted proportionately

Published 17 December 2018

Armed officers found to have acted proportionately following incident in Edinburgh in March.

Police Scotland has welcomed a report that concluded armed officers in Edinburgh who fired a baton round when responding to reports of a woman armed with an axe on 31 March, 2018 acted proportionately and the action taken was necessary.

Police were called to reports of a woman being armed with an axe and threatening a member of the public in the grounds of Craigmillar Castle at around 12:25pm.

Officers from an Armed Response Vehicle discharged a baton round when the woman ran towards them and a member of the public whilst holding the axe.

The report by the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) was published today (Friday 14 December, 2018) after the incident was referred by Police Scotland, as is standard procedure.

Divisional Commander for Specialist Services Chief Superintendent Matt Richards said: “Our officers acted courageously in a dynamic situation and put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect the public.

“When faced with a challenging situation, they acted proportionately and with minimal force in order to ensure the safety of the public and emergency services staff in attendance. I have no doubt that their professional response ensured that any potential risk to the public was minimised.

“Our Authorised Firearms Officers are highly trained to deal with volatile situations and will only use force when absolutely necessary. We have a number of options available to us so that we can bring incidents such as these to a safe conclusion and our priority remains keeping people safe and preserving life. I commend these officers’ actions in bringing a difficult situation under control in a professional and effective way and for keeping the public safe, as they do every day.”

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