Two-thirds of Essex Police Officers say they would be willing to carry guns

Crime / Tue 7th Aug 2018 at 01:05pm

A recent Police Federation of England and Wales survey revealed that 41 per cent of Essex officers are in favour of the routine arming of officers and that 65 per cent would be prepared to carry a firearm at times on duty. Across England and Wales, that figure was 55 per cent.

Essex Police Cuts

However, Essex Police Federation Chairman Steve Taylor believes that officers in Essex and beyond should not be routinely armed.

“We police by consent and I think the routine arming of every officer could undermine that system.

“Thankfully at the moment I don’ think we face the level of firearms violence that would necessitate officers having guns.”

Armed officers in Essex attended more than 500 incidents requiring a firearms response in the county in 2017.

Between the two main firearms teams – one responding to incidents across the county and the other at Stansted Airport – there were 522 deployments requiring firearms support throughout 2017.

These incidents range from emergency calls to reports of dangerous criminals armed with guns, to those in distress who pose a risk of harm to themselves and others.

The teams also carried out planned deployments including warrants, operations or planned arrests where intelligence suggests individuals involved may have firearms or other dangerous weapons.

There were 2,596 incidents requiring the support of Taser-trained officers, to deal with volatile or dangerous suspects. Despite the number of incidents, Tasers were only fired at 24 of the incidents in the last year.

The armed officers also carried out 768 arrests during 2017, completed 7,872 hours of basic firearms training and attended 14,580 non-firearms incidents.

The team are trained to use firearms including: Tasers; side-arms including the Glock 17 and long-barrelled weapons including Heckler and Koch G36.

Mr Taylor added that armed officers can face an elevated risk, especially when the level of training they received is not as high as specialist armed police.

He added: “The dreadful tragic case in Belgium where the two female officers were killed with their own guns and the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in France are examples where officers carry guns, but they are not trained to the same standards as our AFOs.

“Specialised firearms officers and their training is head and shoulders above the ordinary training police who carry guns in other countries receive.

“During the attack in Liege the officers’ guns were taken from them and used to commit further atrocities and while these may be extreme cases they are a reason why I don’t want officers routinely carrying firearms.

“I don’t think our communities want to see that either,” he added.

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8 Comments for Two-thirds of Essex Police Officers say they would be willing to carry guns:

2018-08-07 15:46:19

From news reports over the last few years, it seems that the drug and criminal faction are using more and varied weapons. Reports of machine guns and hand grenades being used, are becoming more common. Nothing is beyond these lawless people, yet our police go out on patrol with tasers and pepper spray. Not very good odds.

2018-08-07 18:54:10

Old saying "Don't turn up to a gun fight with a knife" That said carrying a weapon requires great responsibility and carrying a gun requires a lot more than jusr responsibility. I think our Police carrying guns is a good idea as long as they are all checked out pyscometricaly and trainined to use and respect in a responsible manner. I believe them carrying guns would be a deterrent to a lot of crime. But it needs implemented properly

2018-08-07 22:33:10

What are the potential problems of police carrying guns? Are there any countries on Earth we could look for examples of when arming police officers with deadly weapons hasn’t quite worked out hunky dorily?

2018-08-08 11:24:49

As we've seen with the United States, if you give police guns, the criminals will get them, there's an arms race and it's like the Wild West in no time. Taking quotes from The Untouchables a film about guns, murder and gang warfare I don't think helps the situation. A better funded police force, with better wages to make the service more attractive, would mean better policing, more on the beat and a visible deterrent. It really is that simple.

2018-08-08 12:54:37

Do away with targets and all the PC rubbish and get back to real policing and then lets have sentencing to fit the crime whilst at the same time look to educate? the families and children to have respect for other people and the law starting at a young age, you will need at least 2 generations but lets go back to basics and stop all this namby pamby PC rubbish.

2018-08-08 12:55:24

Oh that includes the schools as well.

2018-08-08 16:35:40

Cor yeah! Remember when the police could beat the hell out of you and put you away for years and years for something you didn't do, that was before all this "PC" rubbish. Or when you could put up a sign saying "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" god, you can't do that now. PC gone mad I tell ya!

2018-08-09 06:12:26

God is spelt with a capital. As usual, nothing constructive from momentum,just dog eared comment from years back. Quite strange isn't it, as immigration has increased,so has violent crime, but it is dis-proportionate. Check out the figures. The numbers of criminals from immigrant back grounds far exceeds the norm. Your assessment is spot on jarrett. I think that any immigrants. to the UK, who commit a violent crime within,say, ten years of being here, should be deported. Wait for the bleep,bleep, that I'm a racist.

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