A THIRD probe into the death of former Bolton man Anthony Grainger has cleared police over the use of a CS gas canister.

Several matters were referred by GMP to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after the public inquiry into Grainger's 2012 shooting.

Two officers were quizzed over the use of an unauthorised CS gas canisters during a police operation in Culcheth that night.

The canisters were used to deliver CS gas into vehicles, Before then live rounds had been deployed.

An IOPC inquiry has now ruled the pair "had not acted in bad faith" over the canisters. It was not authorised but paperwork had been filed over their usage.

One previous IOPC follow-up inquiry cleared police deployment procedures and a second was dropped.

The latest probe heard the unauthorised CS dispersal canisters had been in use since 2007.

An investigation revealed "while national protocols for evaluating and acquiring the canisters were not followed, the evidence did not indicate that either officer acted dishonestly or in bad faith at any stage".

The inquiry found the relevant code of practice did not expressly prohibit the use of weapons that had not received approval from the Home Secretary.

A recommendation was made to improve the wording to provide greater clarity around the processes required to be followed.

Amanda Rowe, IOPC regional director, said: “My thoughts remain with the family and loved ones of Anthony Grainger, and all those affected by his tragic death.

"His family has shown incredible bravery as we, and the public inquiry, sought to get answers to many of their questions surrounding what happened on that day.

“Both officers under investigation gave consistent and candid accounts of their actions, which were supported by other evidence.

"They took responsibility for their actions and decisions and we agree with the inquiry’s finding that the guidance in place at the time was ambiguous.

“In the circumstances, we did not find the conduct of either officer to have been deliberate, reckless or so unreasonable as to amount to a breach of the police standards of professional behaviour.

“This marks the end of our investigations linked to Anthony’s death. This work has been thorough and covered many lines of inquiry, ultimately leading to criminal and disciplinary proceedings being started, as well as crucial learning for the police based on our findings."