Duggan marksman 'back on duty soon'

St Helens Star: Carol Duggan, aunt of Mark Duggan, speaks at a vigil in his memory outside Tottenham police station in north London Carol Duggan, aunt of Mark Duggan, speaks at a vigil in his memory outside Tottenham police station in north London

The police marksman who killed Mark Duggan could be back on duty within weeks after an inquest jury found that the shooting was lawful.

Scotland Yard has confirmed that the "post-incident support programme" has begun for the officer, identified only as V53, involving medical tests and training.

A spokesman said: "Following the jury's finding of lawful killing in the Mark Duggan inquest, the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) will now start the post- incident support programme for the firearms officers involved.

"This process includes medical tests, refresher training and an assessment of the individual officer's welfare. It is only after this process has been completed, which can take a number of weeks, that officers are eligible to return to carrying a firearm or commanding an armed operation if they choose to do so.

"Any suggestion the officers will immediately be deployed with firearms is premature. This process applies equally to those officers who carry a firearm or who are deployed to command armed operations."

The Duggan family, who reacted furiously to the lawful killing inquest finding last week, have been told about the move.

Mr Duggan, 29, was killed when the taxi in which he was travelling was stopped by armed police in Tottenham, north London, in August 2011.

They believed he planned to collect a gun from another man, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, and then go on to Broadwater Farm, also in Tottenham, possibly to carry out a revenge killing over the death of his cousin.

Last week, in the wake of the inquest, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the force would "not rush" to get V53 back on firearms duty.

He said: "We will help that officer to return to full professional duties. They have been at work but not involved in firearms operations.

"We have to consider the officer, who, if we give them that responsibility to carry a gun again, how do they feel after such a long period? I don't think that is something that we rush to, we have to look at training and their development. But it is something we will consider in the coming months."

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