Sanok gun tragedy – expert opinion from former Special Branch officer









David McGirr is a former Special Branch officer who was part of a unit that was on standby to be deployed anywhere across the UK to resolve terrorist related hostage incidents. He also worked on the Lockerbie bombing case, and was a member of a covert intelligence cell for the G8 Summit in the UK, as well as being involved in several other operations related to headline-making stories. As the drama drew to a close he spoke exclusively to about the situation in Sanok.

Mr McGirr, retired, and now living in Kraków, said that the basic rules of the situation were ‘containment, containment, containment, negotiate’. He added that police in Sanok would be viewing suspect Andrzej B and his 17-year-old female companion in the apartment as ‘X-Rays and Yankees’ – or X and Y – what he called the ‘good guys and the bad guys’.

Mr McGirr said police in Sanok would be timetabling their actions carefully, to ensure that tactical (silver) and strategic (gold) meetings took place outside the hour and half hour marks, as this was when suspects generally set ‘deadlines and demands’. Phone lines would by now have been restricted, so that ingoing and outgoing calls could reach only the police negotiator’s number.

He also expected SWAT equivalent teams to have photographs of ‘X and Y’, along with blueprints of the apartment building at ulica Cegielniana 14. They would, he said, be ready for direct action, and would also be gathering intelligence both overtly and covertly. One of their key aims would be to establish whether the 17-year-old was in fact a hostage, or an accomplice.



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