anthony grainger
Anthony Grainger died after being shot in the chest by police in 2012IPCC

The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is to be charged over alleged breach of health and safety relating to the shooting of an unarmed man in Cheshire.

Anthony Grainger, 36, was shot and killed by officers in March 2012 during a planned operation to arrest a group of men on suspicion of conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Grainger was not armed when he was shot in the chest after the car he was in was stopped in Culcheth.

The Crown Prosecution Service has said there is sufficient evidence to charge GMP chief constable Sir Peter with breaching the Health and Safety at Work act because "unnecessary exposure to risk was caused by serious deficiencies in the preparation for the police operation".

He is accused of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety act and "corporation sole" for the force.

This is a legal status and means that he does not share criminal liability or will personally have to appear in court.

Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, said: "We have completed our review of the evidence provided by the Independent Police Complaints Commission in relation to the death of Anthony Grainger. After careful consideration we have decided that the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, should be prosecuted as a corporation sole for failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

"In addition to every employer's responsibility towards their employees, the law also imposes a duty to ensure that work is carried out in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons outside of their employment are not exposed to risk. "

"The chief officers of police forces are treated as employers for this purpose. It is alleged that there were serious deficiencies in the preparation for this operation that unnecessarily exposed individuals to risk."

The first hearing in relation to the charges against Fahy will take place on 10 February at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The officer who fired the shot which killed Grainger will not face criminal charges, the CPS confirmed.

Dept chief const Ian Hopkins of GMP said: "Since Mr Grainger's death 22 months ago, Greater Manchester Police has co-operated fully with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the Crown Prosecution Service and HM Coroner. Our sympathies remain with Mr Grainger's family and we deeply regret the loss that they have suffered.

"Mr Grainger's family, and the officers involved, have had to wait a long time for this decision to be reached and we share the frustrations over those delays. However, we understand that it was vitally important that the investigation was carried out thoroughly to establish all the facts.

"The Independent Police Complaints Commission are investigating the incident independently and are due to publish their official report on the matter."