Poon Chuk Lun, AlferHEFP-LawEnglish and Study Skills assignment 1
English and study skills: Coursework
Should the police be armed? Discuss with reference to the police situation in the UK, in your country and worldwide.
Student name: Poon Chuk Lun Alfer
Tutor name: Carlos Rodriguez
Date: 13th November 2012
Word count: 1096 words
Should the police be armed?
There have been quite a lot of controversies over the issue whether the police should be armed or not. Nowadays, police officers in most of the countries are armed when they are patrolling. However, police officers in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Falkland Island and Norway are literally unarmed, except for those who are committed in airport security and anti-terrorism work. In countries such as China, the United States and Russia, the media often adduce issues on power abuse and misuse of authority by the police. Hence, people tend to call for a reduction in police’s reliance on force technologies. Nevertheless, in a rapidly changing society, where heavy crimes and terrorism remain pressing issues, people have different perspectives on this matter. The objective of this concern is to find out the advantages and disadvantages of arming the police and I will highlight in favor or against it in my conclusion.
Five weeks ago, there were two female police officers being killed after being seduced to check on a bogus burglary at a house in Manchester. After this incident, Toy Rayner, the former chairman of Essex Police Federation said, “How many have to die before arming is considered?” Even film director Michael Winner, founder of the Police Memorial Trust made a point on the importance of arming police officers in the United Kingdom. If the two police officers were armed, they might have had the ability to defeat the offender and the tragedy would not have happened. Self-protection is essential for police officers and arming is surely one way to enhance it.
Police officers have to deal with dangerous offenders occasionally. If they are not armed, undesirable and dangerous situations may result. On the other hand, with armaments, they can protect themselves. According to ‘Gun crime doubles in a decade’ (Whitehead, 2009) and ‘Gun crime trembles as weapons and drugs flood British’ (Bamber, 2002), gun crimes almost double in the decade to 2008, while the rise in London gun crimes has tripled. Something must be done to equip the police for this. Countries with police unarmed are also more likely to be threatened as they may be seen as relatively feeble. In other words, crimes are more likely.