Call for ‘openness’ after girl injured by police firearm

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Mansfield Mayor Tony Egginton is calling for openness after a young girl was injured in a firearms incident at Nottinghamshire Police HQ, near Papplewick.

The constabulary has come under fire for not going public about the incident for more than a week - after the seven-year-old was hurt while visiting Sherwood Lodge, in Burntstump, on October 30th.

Mr Egginton, who chairs the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Panel, said the issue would be debated at their meeting next week and was expecting an ‘open and honest discussion’.

Police revealed yesterday (Thursday 6th November) that the investigation had been launched into the incident, which happened during an escorted visit to the headquarters by a group of children and parents who were being shown specialist services including dogs, firearms and traffic cars.

It is understood that the cartridge ricocheted off the ground and hit the girl in the face, causing a minor injury to her lip, after the automatic weapon was accidentally discharged during a demonstration by firearms officers.

Mr Egginton told Chad: “The issue is the length of time it has taken for Nottinghamshire Police to come forward with this information and we will be discussing this at the panel’s next meeting.

“I expect an open and honest discussion into this incident and a swift resolution.

“The panel includes several members of the public and there are going to be concerns as to why this was brushed under the carpet for as long as it was.”

The cause of the injury will now form part of the investigation, which has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), and the officer involved has been removed from firearms duties while the probe is carried out.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has also expressed his concern.

He said: “I was shocked and concerned to hear of this incident. The matter is now being thoroughly investigated to establish what happened and I have received assurances from the Chief Constable that it will not happen again.”

MP John Mann has revealed the girl is from Bassetlaw.

He tweeted last night: “Lots of questions unanswered after police accidentally shoot a child from Bassetlaw at Notts Police HQ.”

Notts Police have not revealed the identity of the girl.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr said: “We are conducting a thorough inquiry to determine exactly how this unfortunate incident happened and have also referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

“We have spoken to the parents who were visiting force headquarters with their children to explain what happened and have apologised for any distress caused.”