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Investigating fatal police shootings using the human factors analysis and classification framework (HFACS)

McFarlane, P; Amin, A; (2021) Investigating fatal police shootings using the human factors analysis and classification framework (HFACS). Police Practice and Research: an international journal 10.1080/15614263.2021.1878893. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Fatal police shootings are highly contentious and troublesome for normative standards of police legitimacy. Fatal police shooting investigations are often criticised because they lack impartiality, transparency and rigour. To assist policing practitioners and policymakers in the UK and beyond with managing these issues, we present a new analytical framework for investigating fatal policing shootings. We re-contextualise Shappell and Wiegmann’s (2000) ‘Human Factors Analysis and Classification System’ (HFACS) to test whether HFACS can be used during fatal police shootings investigations to identify contributory human factors. This study used HFACS to qualitatively analyse three high-profile fatal police shooting case-studies in the UK: (i) Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005; (ii) Azelle Rodney in 2005; and (iii) Mark Duggan in 2011. The results show that HFACS is a useful analytical framework. HFACS can be used to identify human factors and failures not discoverable by current methods for investigating fatal police shootings. We also offer the first empirical insights and contribute a more nuanced understanding of using HFACS to investigate fatal police shootings. We conclude by suggesting there are high-level and operational benefits in using HFACS and recommend avenues for further research to test HFACS in other policing contexts beyond the UK.

Type: Article
Title: Investigating fatal police shootings using the human factors analysis and classification framework (HFACS)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2021.1878893
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2021.1878893
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120020
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