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Should British Police be Armed!!!!!

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  • Should British Police be Armed!!!!!

    A question to discuss.

    As most of you are aware the British Police service is not armed.

    In most confrontations this means hand to hand techniques or the use of pepper/CS spary has to be used. Even if knifes or other weapons are used it still means getting physical rather than using a firearm

    ( By the time you call a firearms officer in my force it takes about 30 mins and then you spend hours trying to get authority to arm, the situation either has passed or the person has been detained)

    Do you think its time for us to be armed or do you think this will mean more and more guns on our streets.

    Any thoughts

  • #2
    Unless you are going to be giving your guns away to criminals, how could it mean more guns on the street? Also, I feel that anyone who routinely comes in contact with, or has a chance to be accosted by a criminal or groups of criminals, should have a gun.

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    • #3
      Are British criminals armed?

      If so then the police better be armed. And armed better.
      On the wings of a dove
      Let's roll for justice
      Let's roll for truth
      Let's not let our children grow up
      Fearful in their youth -- Neil Young

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      • #4
        Since I have been hearing reports of the police finding weapons lately I think it would be the only reasonable thing to do. Better to armed if the criminals are not having access to guns.
        Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SWP 1498:
          A question to discuss.

          As most of you are aware the British Police service is not armed.

          Do you think its time for us to be armed or do you think this will mean more and more guns on our streets.

          Any thoughts
          Yes, It's time all you officers should be armed. Times aren't as they were 30 - 40 years ago. You are out gunned by the bad guys as it is now and they don't care who they have to "take out" to get the job done..
          What will it take for them to realize this, the death of a group of responding unarmed officers??
          " Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words." - Calvin

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          • #6
            They should be armed. And I should be better armed.
            Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow; do not walk behind me, for I may not lead; do not walk beside me; in fact, get the hell away from me.

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            • #7
              Yes.
              http://www.municipaldesigns.com - Web solutions for municipal government, police, fire, and EMS agencies.

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              • #8
                Whereas I believe that everybody and particularly the police have the right to defend themselves, arming the Police across the board in the UK would be a phenominal task. In the US it is easy because every Police department is already armed so a recruit simply has to pass the firearms requirement for selection. In the UK apart from specialist units everybody is unarmed. In my old force (Metropolitan) there are 27,000 officers, lets take one as an example. Joe joined 2 years ago when the requirement to carry arms was not there, he now has 28 years left to go. When Joe joined he didn't want to carry a firearm and that apart would fail on the eyesight requirement, do we force him to carry a gun against his will, lower the eyesight standard, or allow him to Police unarmed for the next 28 years?
                I was a Firearms instructor, the pass mark for standard Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO)in London is 70%, I personally find that appauling, but many people on the courses still failed because they couldn't make the grade, were tactically inept or simply couldn't cope with the responsibility. What do we do with those officers, lower the already abominable standards to accomodate them?
                If the Police were suddenly armed I think that for at least the next 20 years you would have to have a 2 tier service, because personally I can't come to any other conclusion.
                Take Care and Stay Safe!
                "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence upon those who would do us harm" - George Orwell

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                • #9
                  Question here, Do all of the Departments within the Brish Police force have an armed unit or are the armed units shared among several departments?
                  Well behaved women rarely make history!

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                  • #10
                    I'm pro gun-you already know my answer.

                    I can't imagine doing this without a firearm.

                    It's not about courage either-as I'm sure some anti gunners and anti "armed police" types might try to make it. It's blatantly UNREASONABLE to expect one to arrest violent persons without a firearm as a last ditch contingency.

                    SWAT1-I respect the HE** out of your position because you've been there and done that, and YOU are talking from experience, and about something tangible (not just an opinion, based on ultra liberal upbringing) but just as an academic point, I think they should be. Obviously, there would be MASSIVE logistical concerns, such as New York faced 15 years ago when considering rearming with semiautomatics. I'm sure there are still plenty of wheelguns with New York's finest, even today.

                    I realize that your point taken, it would put some people in the "crap or get off the camode" position, but firearms are not the only reason LEOs need good vision, dedication to the job not withstanding. Of course, they could probably be retained in ultra low crime beats and "grandfathered."

                    [ 03-23-2002: Message edited by: SGT Dave ]
                    People have more fun than anybody.

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                    • #11
                      Yes, they should be armed. If some "old timers" can't or won't handle it then they should be put on some type of light duty. If that's not possible then I guess they could remain unarmed.

                      It should be MANDATORY for all new officers to be armed. Sadly the world is changing and the police over there must have the proper equipment to deal with it.

                      Thankfully, I've never had to shoot anyone in my 15 years but I'm glad to know I have the training and tools just in case.

                      As far as being armed, the bottom line is that it is better to have it and not need it, than it is to need it and not have it.... or are the weapons toting bad guys in the UK polite enough to call a timeout if they see you're unarmed.
                      Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SWAT1:
                        If the Police were suddenly armed I think that for at least the next 20 years you would have to have a 2 tier service, because personally I can't come to any other conclusion.
                        Take Care and Stay Safe!

                        A 2-tier service may be among the most logical methods to assure your Police Officers are armed in the immediate future. The society English officers could police without sidearms, sadly is gone. Too many people with extreme violent agendas are using your country for their own political reasons and they will not hesitate to use weapons.

                        English lawmakers can take a great deal of time to explain the whys and wherefores of arming or not arming the police. Your Police Officers can no longer afford to take such a long view.

                        Jim Burnes

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                        • #13
                          Heck yeah the British police should be armed, and so should the British citizens. It's interesting to me that AFTER the people of Britian gave up their guns is when the police feel like they need to start carrying. Shows how well gun control works, huh?
                          Law abiding citizens sleep peacefully in their beds solely because dedicated men and women stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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                          • #14
                            Having had the privilege of doing a few ridealongs with a British Police Force (Thames Valley), here's my thoughts on the subject:

                            I think they should be armed. The rising number of gun-related incidents (although it's a country with very STRICT gun-control laws) cannot be ignored.

                            However, the notion of simply handing a pistol to every bobby in the British Empire is impractical. We simply cannot expect a country whose police officers have been unarmed since the days of Sir Robert Peel and the "Bow Street Runners" to make such a drastic change.

                            What if an existing officer fails to adequately qualify at the range? Would it be right to fire an already serving PC (or WPC), who is otherwise an excellent cop, because of poor marksmanship, something that was not an issue when they attended the academy at Hendon?

                            Some would say, well starting Jan 1 2003 ALL new recruits will undergo firearms training. Only problem with that idea is that you'll end up with a police force of unarmed veterans and armed rookies. An armed trainee should only be placed with an armed veteran officer, but in the UK these are very few and far between.

                            What if a recruit/PC/WPC objects to carrying the firearm for conscientious reasons? Do we fire him/her? While we Americans have grown up with the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, remember that the British have not had the same upbringing as us, and thus don't hold the same views of an armed populace like we do.

                            If the UK does go to a "two-tier" police service like SWAT1 mentioned, how to the calls for service get divvied up? One could argue that if a call for service is safe enough to be handled by an unarmed PC/WPC, then why even bother having them? Why not have police civilians (presumably lower-paid) take over these calls, as is already the case in many US departments? Yet, a similar proposal has already been proposed by the Home Secretary, and soundly rejected by the Police Federation.

                            It's not going to be easy to reverse 250 years of tradition.

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                            • #15
                              My thoughts are, I feel it should be eased into, new recruits and those existing officers that feel they want to be armed should have the ability to take the courses and be issued a firearm. as a reserve officer in MN we do not carry firearms and are strictly volunteers, but we are always with an armed officer, which quite frankly makes me feel alot more at ease in a tense situation.
                              But even if my partner is (God forbid) injured we are trained to take his/her weapon and use it accordingly. so I wholeheartedly agree that UK officers should be armed.

                              REZ

                              [ 03-23-2002: Message edited by: mnrez ]

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