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England/GBr/UK ?


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  • England/GBr/UK ?

    Here's a question for you all from the wrong side of the pond. I am curious as to what your weapons policy is. Do some carry guns? I have been told that some get guns but the policies are very tight. I know that in my neck of the woods I wouldn't be caught dead [Eek!] (pun intended) in uniform, without my duty weapon. I can't imagine not having that tool at my disposal.
    "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
    -Norman Schwartzkopf

  • #2
    In a former life I served 20 years in the UK. Although they are largely unarmed it is a falacy that they have always been so. Up until 1936 an officer on night duty with the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard, London) could request a pistol for self defence. Today just specialist units are allowed to carry full time, that said there are I believe about 27,000 officers in London with units such as SO19 (Special Operations, SWAT/Armed Response)Royalty Protection, Robbery Squad, Diplomatic Protection Group,SO11 (Special Ops surveillance)Airport Division and many more all who carry so there are quite a few guns in Police hands on the street at any given time. I believe Government policy is that you can only carry a .38 or 9mm. The Glock 17 is pretty much the prefered choice. Although my old unit SO19 also carried MP5's MP5K MP5SD Remmington 870's HKG3's stun grenades and some other stuff. Hope that helps a little?
    Take Care!
    "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


    • #3

      If we take the United Kingdon of Great Britain & Northern Ireland as a whole then there are thousands of officers on duty at any one time with firearms. The PSNI formerly the RUC which polices the whole of Northern Ireland is permanently armed and has a strength of well over 12,000 officers.

      SWAT1 accurately describes the position in the Metropolitan Police, which whilst having many national functions is primarily responsible for policing the area covered by the Greater London Authority. The City of London the financial heartland of the country has it's own separate force which again has an armed capability.

      The remainder of England & Wales is covered by a further 41 forces all of whom have armed officers available to respond to incidents. There are then the 8 Scottish forces. I am not sure what the set up is there, but they will have firearms response capability.

      Most English & Welsh forces operate what are termed Armed Response Vehicles (ARV) which provide rapid 24 hour armed response to incidents.

      After all that, the vast majority of officers do not carry firearms, and to be honest provided there is rapid response from the ARV, I do not believe that a general arming of the mainland police forces is necessary.

      During my service I have received training on the safe handling of firearms and also initial response to firearms incidents. When on patrol I wear an overt stab/bullet resistant vest, I have an ASP, rigid handcuffs, CS incapacitant and Tetra radio. I also receive regular defensive tactics training.

      I have never been threatened directly with a firearm or shot at and to be truthful edged weapons/syringes are our biggest problem.

      Sadly UK officers do get shot and sometimes killed and general arming is an ongoing discussion this side of the Pond.



      • #4
        Never carried a gun on duty, wouldn't have any room for it on my belt.

        We do have a firearms team somewhere but it would take about an hour at least before they would be able to respond to anything.


        Si vis pacem, para bellum


        • #5
          Thanks for the info. I was just curious how things are different.
          "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
          -Norman Schwartzkopf


          • #6
            when I joined the Metropolitan Police in 1976, there was a STRONG BOX locker in the front office of the station
            the station SERGEANT had the key.... inside FOUR brand new (looking) revolvers (they LOOKED THE BUSINESS) with on a shelf below ammo and on a shelf below that holsters and belts

            an Inspector could authorise ISSUE of these weapons AT HIS DISCRETION but I never knew this happen

            ALSO, believe it or not, handcuffs WERE NOT issued to constables AT ALL

            there were TWO SETS, one on the area car and one in the STATION SAFE, full stop

            NOW.... there are TROJAN UNITS
            double manned cars in HIGH VIS markings, average response time within 20 minutes, the old station "strong boxes" are long gone, removed with the advent of TROJAN COMMAND
            the average copper walking down the street or driving a police car is not armed, well, he has h/cuffs, CS Spray and an ASP, he's armed to that degree.... but there are these TROJAN UNITS on duty "waiting" for a call, damn good they are too ! top blokes
            from your old mate
            c h i e f y
            global chiefy to yer seadog seafarin' maties


            • #7

              I think the non-issue of handcuffs was a Metropolitan Police thing. They were certainly issued to constables in provincial forces.

              UK police also had the use of cutlesses until well into the 20th century.



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