FIFE police are in hot water for failing to follow procedure after a shotgun was accidentally discharged at a firearms range.

The Police Investigations and Review Comissioner said that the incident would not have happened if national guidelines had been followed during the training exercise, during which a wall was damaged but no one was injured.

In the investigation report published last week, Commissioner Kate Frame found that the most likely cause of the incident was that the officer’s thumb entered the trigger area while he was attempting to apply the safety catch on a Remington 870 Shotgun.

According to national guidance, the officer should have applied the catch on the firearm before moving from standing to lying in a chest down position.

Ms Frame also found that firearms instructors were initially unaware the officer had accidentally discharged the weapon because they were temporarily distracted while giving instructions to another officer.

“The accidental firing of this weapon was negligent and the incident would not have happened if the officer had followed National Police Firearms Training Guidance,” she said. “Since the event, Police Scotland has taken steps to ensure that all firearms instructors are reminded of their core safety responsibilities.” The incident took place at Police Scotland’s firearms range at Glenrothes on 28th May this year.