Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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IOPC statement following the conclusion of the inquest into Richard Cottier’s death

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers acted appropriately in the circumstances when Richard Cottier was fatally shot on 9 April 2018 an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation concluded.

Our 12-month investigation, which concluded in March 2019, determined the use of lethal force against Mr Cottier, 41, did not require to be referred to Crown Prosecution Service or for disciplinary proceedings. We shared our findings with Mr Cottier’s family, the MPS and HM Coroner.

We established Mr Cottier was fatally wounded at a petrol station in Collier Row, north London, after MPS officers responded to a call he made informing them he had taken an overdose and alleging he was in possession of a firearm. The MPS also received a further call from a member of the public who reported seeing a man with a firearm.  Firearms officers located Mr Cottier at the petrol station, he was told to lower his weapon but pointed it at them in a firing position. Two firearms officers then both discharged their weapon once.

An inquest held at Barking Town Hall ended on Tuesday 8 June with the jury concluding that Mr Cottier had been lawfully killed.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem yesterday said:

“Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Cottier’s family and friends. While in this country fatal police shootings are rare, when they do occur, it is important the circumstances are meticulously and independently investigated as we did with the events surrounding Mr Cottier’s death.

“We established the weapon Mr Cottier was carrying was a modified air-rifle, which had the capability to fire with potentially lethal force. The available body worn video footage showed Mr Cottier raised the rifle as he approached the firearms officers.

“Firearms officers have to make split-second decisions, rapidly assessing the degree of threat posed to protect themselves, their colleagues and us –members of the public.

“Following completion of our investigation we provided our evidence to the inquest and a jury has now determined Mr Cottier was lawfully killed.”

Our investigation gathered evidence from Mr Cottier’s family, witnesses at the petrol station,  London Ambulance Staff, the two MPS officers who each discharged their weapon, other MPS officers who responded to the incident, plus firearms experts. IOPC investigators also analysed body worn video footage that had been activated by one of the officers involved in the shooting.

While we appreciate this has taken some time since Mr Collier died, the IOPC’s investigation was completed within 12 months. We continue to work with other organisations to speed up all the processes involved when someone dies following police contact.


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