I was watching the BBC Panorama investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the man killed on the London Underground because he was, apparently, mistaken for a terrorist*, and there was this hilarious exchange with an Assistant Commissioner from Scotland Yard:
Taylor: When you strip everything else away, Operation Kratos, in the end, is about a shoot to kill policy, isn’t it, because the point is, you’ve got to kill the suicide bomber.
Steve House: No, I can’t agree with that. What we train our officers to do is what we call immediate incapacitation.
Taylor: Which is aiming for the head?
Steve House: Which is aiming for the head. I understand why it is that people say that’s a shoot to kill policy but it is not a shoot to kill policy. We do not recruit and train our officers to shoot to kill, and that’s not what police firearms officers do. They shoot to incapacitate.
Operation Kratos here is the codename under which armed units are deployed to counter immiment terrorist threats. So they shoot to incapacitate...in the head. But that's not a shoot-to-kill order, because policemen don't shoot to kill. Makes perfect sense when you think about it, really.
*HOW Menzes was mistaken for a terrorist is still a good question which has not been sufficiently answered. While the building he was in put him in contact with Hamdi Adus Isaac, the two men don't even look similar:
And Isaac was being tracked by British intelligence, namely GCHQ, who were tracking his calls while fleeing to Italy.
Nor was how the surveillance on Menzes suddenly became a kil-, uh, incapacitation
order really ever explained. Or indeed the composition of the Kratos Unit, though it's strongly suspected, based on weapons and conduct that they are likely special forces seconded to Scotland Yard command, either SAS or Special Recon Regiment.