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Should the British police carry firearms?

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Should the British police carry firearms? The police of today in Britain face increasing levels of violence. Violent street crime is higher today than at any other time in Britain. Between April and November 2001 the number of murders in the Metropolitan police area committed with a firearm soared by almost 90% over the same period a year earlier. Armed street robberies rose, in the same period from 435 to 667 in 2001- an increase of 53%- while overall in the capital there were 45,255 street robberies and snatches last year against 32,497 in 2000. With both street robbery and gun crime on a sharp increase there are fears that the two trends will overlap to create a more regular occurrence of muggers upgrading from knives to guns. ...read more.


This is normally via police radio, where the superintendent is not at the scene of the crime and is less able to get an accurate picture of what is really happening. If refused permission to go in armed, regular unarmed police officers will have to attend what could potentially be an armed incident. This itself has lead to many fatalities among police officers, but responding to an armed incident is not always the most dangerous situation. Police officers can be subjected to armed violence at any time and it is quite often found at the most unlikely times. In 2001 a police officer was shot when he did a routine stop on a car. The driver who was carrying a gun opened fire on the police officer because he feared getting caught with the gun. ...read more.


The survey also found that even though officers wanted to be armed. They stated that they would be reluctant to use them for fear of being prosecuted. Police officers are held just as responsible as the public when it comes to using firearms. They must only use them with reasonable force. Every effort is made during the selection procedure to ensure that only officers considered as having a suitable temperament are authorised to carry firearms. We have to ask ourselves if its time for change? Do we want we want to live in a society where gunman have burst into a court and free defendants? If society carries on in the direction it's going, we will end up with an unprotected public at the mercy of criminals. ...read more.

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