Police in apology for gun death mistakes

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The police watchdog and Scotland Yard have admitted mishandling the way they dealt with the family of a man whose shooting triggered last summer’s riots.

Mark Duggan was killed during a pre-planned operation involving officers from the Metropolitan Police Trident gun crime unit on August 4 in Tottenham, north London.

But police failed to formally notify the family of his death, giving his parents Pamela Duggan and Bruno Hall false hope.

They complained about their treatment and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) upheld that complaint and admitted it had also let them down.

IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said yesterday that a police family liaison officer spoke to two members of Mr Duggan’s family at the scene on the night of the shooting.

He told the IPCC he had confirmed with “99 per cent” certainty” that the dead man was Mr Duggan.

He said they asked police not to go to the family home to formally notify his parents because it would be too much of a shock and said that they would do it.

But Ms Cerfontyne said the pair, who introduced themselves as his sister and his partner, have denied this.

The IPCC took over family liaison on August 5 and was told by the Met that Mr Duggan’s parents did not want direct contact.

But Ms Cerfontyne said the family were confused and did not understand the role of the IPCC, which is separate from the police.

Ms Cerfontyne went on: “The MPS has apologised to the family for the way in which Mr Duggan’s parents became aware of his death and I have told them how sorry I am that the IPCC did not provide more support, nor visit them the day after Mr Duggan’s death.”

The IPCC is still conducting a separate investigation into the circumstances of the shooting.

An investigation into Mr Duggan’s death has failed to establish the sequence of events concerning a handgun found at the scene.