A POLICE chief has been appointed to clear up ‘confusion’ over armed operations after a robber was shot by officers in East Lancashire.

Chief inspector Alan Wood will be responsible for ensuring there are ‘protocols’ when tactical response units cross county boundaries, in the wake of the Haslingden Co-op shooting in September, 2009.

Gavin Noakes, 31, was shot three times outside the Manchester Road store while lying in wait to attack a G4S cash delivery van.

His accomplices Jonathan Walsh, 29, was subdued by a Taser gun and his brother Richard, 27, suffered a broken nose as the trio, and associate William Moore, 28, were detained by Greater Manchester Police’s armed response unit.

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which heard how Noakes drove a Mini at officers, ruled that police used ‘necessary, justified and proportionate force’ in carrying out their arrests.

But several recommendations were made about the immediate aftermath of the incident – with criticism over the ‘apparent confusion’ regarding who would investigate the shooting.

In a report to Greater Manchester Police Authority’s risk and audit committee, the force says it has now appointed Mr Wood to address the issue, as there is no regional agreement on who should be responsible.

Noakes and his three colleagues, all from Salford or Manchester, were jailed for a total of 40 years at Manchester Crown Court after being convicted of conspiring to rob the cash van.