Anthony Grainger police shooting: Raid 'not cost cutting'

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Anthony Grainger was shot in a car park in Culcheth, Cheshire

A police operation in which an unarmed man was shot dead was not "brought to a head" because of pressure on resources, a senior officer told an inquiry.

Assistant Chief Constable Steven Heywood said Greater Manchester Police (GMP) reviewed surveillance of Anthony Grainger three months before his death.

Mr Grainger, 36, of Bolton, was shot by a GMP firearms officer in a car park in Culcheth, Cheshire, on 1 March 2012.

Mr Heywood was giving evidence for a second day at the inquiry in Liverpool.

It has been told Mr Grainger was monitored as part of Operation Shire, which focussed on a gang thought to be conspiring to commit armed robberies.

Officers believing he and others were planning a robbery at a premises in Culcheth.

Mr Heywood, who now works for the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, gave the authority for firearms to be used in the operation.

Jason Beer QC, counsel to the inquiry, said Mr Heywood's notes on the day appeared to show the only tactical options discussed were intervention or interception.

'Expenditure concern'

Mr Heywood said other options were discussed, such as placing an armed vehicle in Culcheth or doing nothing but neither seemed appropriate.

Mr Beer said an organisational review of Operation Shire, requested by Mr Heywood in January 2012, suggested there was a concern about the "expenditure of precious resources".

He said: "By March 1, was there a feeling by you that this operation had run long enough?" He asked if the operation "needed to be brought to a head".

Mr Heywood replied: "We have had operations in the past that have run longer."

The officer said he thought it was "professionally appropriate" to order an organisational review.

But he added: "If this hadn't culminated in the outcome it did would we have continued? Probably."

The inquiry, chaired by Judge Thomas Teague QC, is expected to run until 21 April.

Image source, GMP
Image caption,
Mr Grainger, who was unarmed, was shot in the chest while he was in a stolen Audi

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