Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Arm British Police?  
User currently offlineRyangooner From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 969 posts, RR: 22
Posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1088 times:

I would be interested to know peoples opinion on this issue:

Should British Police be armed? That means every Police officer be they on the beat or your local community Bobby?

What are the "for's and against's" regarding arming the British Police?

This is in response to the thread of "ever been taken down at gunpoint"

Ryan Hemmings


ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMAbound From Sweden, joined Nov 2003, 660 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1080 times:

Arm them!

I can't really see any againsts... Every now and then, they got to face criminals that are armed, I would feel stupid if I couldn't defend myself in such situations.

johan



Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1074 times:

I always found it peculiar and interesting...

But I´d like to hear a bit more about the experiences so far; And as far as I know it´s not "british police" in general who are unarmed, just the so-called "bobbies", the foot patrol officers.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1060 times:

Irish police or "Gardai" are unarmed as well. When the Irish police was formed after the civil war of the 1920´s it was decided that they should do their job through respect and not through force. A few units are armed, notably Special Branch and Detectives. SWAT duty is carried out by the Army Rangers. Also the Army is guarding money, prisoner and explosives transports in the Republic.
Interesting thing is that the Provisional IRA up to a few years ago never recognised the Irish constitution. For them the government were traitors for leaving the six northern countries with the UK. Many Gardai were kiled by the PIRA.

Jan


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1052 times:

Why?
And before it is said that it's required, is it really?
Take London, remember the surge in recent years in drug related gun crime?
It's gone right down, not that the tabloid press really bothered reporting it much, the story didn't bleed, so it didn't lead, to paraphrase a well worn media cliche.
Targeted intelligence seems to have brought this about.

Armed police are a more common sight now, since the upsurge in the terrorist threat.
But specialist armed officers still seem to be the way to go.
Gun crime is still a rare event in the UK, compared to the levels in most other Western nations, also consider the response from the Police, just as numbers of officers are climbing, would you really want to bring something in that would cause many experienced officers to resign, which they would do if carrying firearms became mandatory?

They do a tough enough job as it is, but one thing that is not a factor is accidently being shot by a colleague, which happens more than you might think elsewhere.

No problem with CS or Pepper Spray, or even Tazers, but a firearm is a method of applying lethal force, something that a service that despite everything, is still based on policing by consent, would not like to escalate to, except on a case by case basis, as a last resort.



User currently offlineRyangooner From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 969 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1035 times:

Almost all police are unarmed in England and Wales, There are very few "foot patrol" officers, these are made up from a typical shift ie: 6 cars (12 officers) and another 3-6 on foot patrol.

Only the special teams within each force have the firearm trained officers, and will mainly only respond to a firearm incident. Unless you go to airports and nearly all are firearms.London is becomming increasingly an area where police carrying guns are found due to threat of terrorism but for the local bobby whether it be foot or car response (which is the majority) are not armed.

more and more incidents are happening daily on our streets that the public are unaware of regarding gun crime so this thread was aimed at peoples opinions about arming every police officer. I have my views. whats yours?

Ryan Hemmings




ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8199 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1023 times:

Absolutely not. Like any 'arms race', it would be an escalation that the criminal fraternity would surely follow. Other than certain groups (ie Turkish drug cartels in N London), criminals don't need to be armed because they aren't going to be shot at by the cops. If they were going to be shot at by the police, you can be sure they'd be a lot more likely to arm themselves before committing a crime. I love living in the UK and now that Concorde no longer graces our skies, the lack of armed police and lack of gun crime is one of the things that makes me very proud to be here.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1022 times:

Part of the problem you will have is that the public does not understand the issue. The public at large in the UK are just like here in the US...they only "know" what is fed to them by the press... The public really has no idea how many officers are assaulted or how many guns and other deadly weapons the police come up against.

The popular image of American law enforcement, even in some of the British police magazines, is of gun happy settle everything at the point of a gun cops. In fact there are few differences between policing in the US and the UK. 99% of the job is based upon dealing with people and using your mouth to handle a situation. For a variety of reasons the US has a much greater level of gun crime. (as an aside, I don't think it has to do with the availability of guns. It has more to do with less and less respect for fellow humans and the cheapening of life. Kids are brought up with videos and games that teach them to handle problems by shooting someone...but that is another subject..)

For years most of the bad guys in the UK would take on a cop in a fight, but there was rarely a thought of actually hurting him. But times are changing. Witness a recent incident in Kent where a pair of motorcycle thieves not only took on the lone cop to escape, but they beat him to a pulp and then ran over him in his now stolen police car.

Deadly force should be the last resort but the cop should have the resource available if he is going to be challenged by it.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 995 times:

Don't let the idea that police officers are unarmed think that they aren't well protected, every officer has a radio and can call in what amounts to a mini-swat squad. A cruiser with (if memory serves) is armed with four MP-5 sub-machine gun equipted officers, body armour....the works.

Police in Europe in my view, tend to carry weapons tha go to the greater extreme end. Meaning they will carry lighter or heavier then their US counterpart. In Europe, from my limited visits there, you see anything from unarmed bobbies up to patrol officers with submachine guns, such as the MP-5.

You don't see US police officers generally carring anything heavier then a pistol or have anything in their car heavier then a pump action shotgun. Submachine guns and automatic weapons are only used by special response teams.






OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 982 times:

That's 'cos in the UK, you will see (especially at airports) specialist firearms officers, usually carrying MP-5s etc.
When I worked on Concorde, we always had police wanting to take a look on board, usually a new officer was posted to LHR and was curious, usually just had pistols, sometimes MP-5s.
In London now, you do see more armed officers, around Parliament and other obvious targets, during the IRA campaign, there was a 'ring of steel' around the City Of London, consisting of armed officers manning checkpoints with MP-5s and that futuristic looking Austrian rifle, probably still in place as the terror threat has changed but increased.

Away from the police, in late 1999, on a late shift, we had the SAS in the hangar, training to enter 747s, later they also wanted a look around Concorde, again out of curiosity, so I had all these somewhat older than the average soldiers, seemingly mostly short guys who were more articulate than the squaddie stereotype, crowding on board for a look, when it came to have a look in the cramped flightdeck, I had to ask them to leave their MP-5s and body armour in the forward galley area.


User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 957 times:

L-188

The problem with the "everyone has a radio" concept is when the world goes to hell on you quickly. ie...traffic stop where the driver is armed and takes you on. Help can be 10, 15, 20 minutes away.

Attitudes about weapons are funny. While the British public seems to be aghast at the idea of cops carrying a duty gun, they accept the MP-5 toting officers. While the US public accepts officers carrying a handgun as a matter of routine they have a fit if they see officers carrying long rifles/MP-5's etc.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 954 times:

Most officers in Germany have a MP5 in the boot of their patrol car. Somehow shotguns were never accepted as a "real" weapon by German police.

Jan


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 948 times:

I think the vast majority of the UK public accept that some officers around high profile targets need to be armed.
As the threat is more sophisticated with terrorism, acceptance of higher powered weapons in addition to automatic pistols, is understandable.
What they don't want are the whole force armed, the ones that have to be, to have been highly trained in the use of firearms.

Now if there was a truly massive upsurge in gun crime, that would be a different matter, however look at the response in London to an increase in drug related gun crime in the past 5 years mostly from Jamaican 'Yardies', more ARVs (all British Police forces have standing 'Armed Response Vehicles', mobile patrols with pistols/MP-5s, to quickly respond to any firearms incident), but also a massive intelligence led policing effort, (operation 'Trident') with community related work, which it seems finally paid off in the last year, as the rate of these crimes dropped quite sharply with plenty of arrests and weapon seizures.

Smaller scale operations in other cities have followed a similar pattern, however most Police do wear body armour, but that is designed as much for stab protection as for firearm protection.

Pepper spray is becoming more common with forces, and nitesticks have long since replaced the older wooden batons.
Baton rounds, used in Norten Ireland for riot control and available for UK forces, are starting to be used for dealing with some incidents, as a 'non-lethal' option of disarming someone, with either knives or a gun, a gunman last year in a domestic house seige was disarmed in this manner.

Armed police have always been at LHR, but they were behind the scenes until the Rome and Vienna airport attacks in 1985, when MP-5 armed officers started patrolling in the open in greater numbers.

Nuclear facilities have long had more covert cover from a small dedicated police unit, the red police vehicles you may see in London are from the Diplomatic Protection Unit, securing the many embassies/consulates, they too have always been armed.
The Ministry Of Defence Police are also more 'armed' than the average force.
Last year, the MoD police became more heavily armed than usual, as they protected ships carrying nuclear material from Japan for reprocessing in the UK, with SA-80 rifles and the operation of 30mm naval cannon fitted to these ships as part of an effort to make them more secure against terrorist attack.

After a number of mistaken shootings in the 1980's, detectives stopped being able to draw firearms when required, (as epitomised in the 1970's fictional series about the London Flying Squad, 'The Sweeney'), instead they would be supported in future by an increase in specialist armed officers as required.

During WW2, police in some areas like London and the SE of England, were able to draw pistols if they were happy with the idea of being armed.
This carried on, quietly, into the late 1940's, probably due to a temporary upsurge in gun crime, with all those souvenir weapons coming back with the troops from the war, some of which, inevitably, fell into the wrong hands.

Of course the most constantly armed police unit, for the longest period, are the close protection detectives of Special Branch, who guard senior politicians and heads of state.

A rather different situation in Northern Ireland, but the Royal Ulster Constablary, (now the Police Service of Northern Ireland), before the 'Troubles' started in 1969, were not all armed, but armed RUC officers were a more common sight.
In 1970, the RUC reserves, (the hated 'B Specials', a very sectarian group with a bad reputation) were disbanded, (causing riots in the 'Loyalist' community), this group, a law unto themselves, incredibly had been allowed to not only draw firearms, but to keep them at home as they were part time officers.
Loyalist estates had been full of homes with revolvers, Enfield rifles and sub machine guns!
However, as the RUC was reformed, they took on a more heavily and overt armed role, as part of the policy of 'police primacy' from the mid 1970s, allowing troop reductions.
Heavily armed RUC officers became the norm, though that has rolled back some since the ceasefire by the major terrorist groups.

You could say that the general unarmed nature of the UK police is about image, which it is, however this image is part of the policy of consent based policing, which affects in a positive way the interaction with the public, who would regard seeing all officers armed as a very negative reflection on the state of law and order and society in general.

Despite the occasional lurid headlines, the UK is generally, an unarmed society, the view of the police is that keeping as few firearms in circulation as possible, reduces the level of armed crime.
Historic experience bears this out, like the temporary upsurge after WW2.

Armed crime is still rare, the biggest problem is from illegal imports and illegal reactivation.
The fact that there is criminal money to be made with the risky (from both safety and the chances of being caught) reactivation of deactivated weapons, shows that 'proper' firearms are not still that easy to get hold of, despite urban myths about being able to get a gun 'from a bloke in the pub' etc.
Also, if you are involved in illegally dealing with firearms, you are looking at a lengthy prison sentence if caught.







User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 938 times:

Thank you, GDB... that was the kind of background info I was looking for.
Seems like a realistic and nuanced approach that makes some sense.


User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 921 times:

Let me give you a scenario and tell me how it would play out without the officers being armed...

Officers are called to the home of a mentally disturbed man who is threatening people with a large knife. When the officers arrive they find that there is an innocent person still in the house and the "suspect" is not currently armed. (he has put the knife down). The officers approach the man to calm him and keep him away from his weapon. As they approach he pulls another knife from behind him and begins to stab at the officers.

OC spray proves ineffective. How do you deal with this man without access to leathal force. (remember that the bean bag type shot is considered leathal when fired at close ranges of less than 20 feet or so.)


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 62
Reply 15, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 918 times:

Actually I´ve seen British police in action and those guys are quite proficient in doing rugby style tackles and they can do quite a few things with their batons. Additionaly they wear bullet and stab proof kevlar vests.

Jan


User currently offlineRyangooner From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 969 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 915 times:

2912n

In that scenario i dont know any officer that would approach this person other than to speak to him at a safe distance.
If a firearm incident was called for in this scenario then a rubber bullet would be the best option as long as there were no chance of firing it inside the house. If it is called as a firearm incident then lethal force would have already been authorised however this scenario does not need to end that way.

Only a stupid cop would walk up to this fella and get close enough for another knife to be drawn. (Theres not that many stupid cops around)

Ryan



ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 902 times:

Okay...let me change the scenario for you...

You are working with a partner. You have only what you carry on your belt, OC and handcuffs and ASP. You are walking through a park and see suspect attacking a woman. You see that he is stabbing her. What now?


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 893 times:

2912n.

GDB might be able to address this better then I can since my understanding is based solely on a couple of old magazine articles, but I understand the ARV concept calls for them to be able to be on scene within 5 minutes of an assistance call from an officer.




OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 886 times:

2912n, you need to remember that the murder rate in Britain, towards the police or anybody else, is startlingly low. It is far, far lower than the rest of Europe or Japan, let alone the United States. The scenarios you put forward are valid, but hardly typical.


She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineRyangooner From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 969 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 881 times:

2912n

Time for another answer to your scenario! (keep them coming!)

a man is stabbing somebody in a park , its happening right in front of you.

I pledged an oath to serve without fear or favour so both officers will be right there one with CS out one with baton, i would run straight at the guy spraying, the other i suggest smack the guy in the face as hard as possible with the baton, deadly force would be justified in this situation regardless of our equipment. If i take a knife then so be it, however as you so rightly point out a firearm on my side would have given me that extra safety.

This is a million to one chance in the UK though, altho it does happen!

Ryan



ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 863 times:

L-188 is right when he describes the ARV concept.
An ARV will usually have between 2 to 4 officers, all with pistols, and secure storage between the driver and pax seats for MP-5s, which are almost always semi auto with optical sights.
Armed police have to give a warning and fire only when they are certain that life is endangered, either theirs or bystanders/potential victims.
And if they fire, they will have to account for their actions in court.

A very similar senario to the first one 2912n described, was actually ended by a marksman using a baton gun, firing an anti riot plastic bullet.
Ending a siege without lethal force.



User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 853 times:

Continuing from what GDB said and from what I understand, an officer that opens fire in the UK is immediately suspended pending an investigation so they have to be pretty damn sure that they are going to do the right thing before they pull that trigger.

Personally, I'd like to see every other officer armed - i.e. one out of the 2 in the patrol car or on foot patrol with at least a handgun or a stun gun of some sort.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 847 times:

I understand the idea of having an ARV somewhere in 5 minutes or less. But the practical matter is it just is not always going to happen. And 5 minutes facing someone who is shooting at you is a very very long 5 minutes.

I understand the murder rate in the UK is very different from that here in the US. And I am not one to say that every cop in every country should be armed. I just want people to base their decisions based on knowledge, not just statistics and emotion.

An officer in the UK who fires his weapon in the line of duty is fully investigated. The same thing happens in the US. Becuase of the set up of UK law enforcement there is much more standarization across force lines than in the US. But here it works roughly like this...

Officer is invovled in a shooting. The department conducts an investigation. This is broken down into two avenues. One determines if the shooting was justified under the law. The second part is an administrative investigation that determines if the use of force was within departmental training and policies. Genreally the district attorney will then conduct an investigation. At times, and this varies by location, they will have a team of invesigators do a parrallel investigation with the police with the DA making the final call on legal justification. Other places will have a grand jury or coroners jury conduct an investigation and then they rule on it.

At times the federal government will step in to conduct an investigation to determine if the persons civil rights were violated.

Finally the officer and agency may be sued in civil court, either state or federal and a jury will determine if the force used was appropriate.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 24, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week ago) and read 832 times:

Well you really answered your own question, a lower murder rate and a very low rate of gun crime, makes a fully armed police force unnecessary.
There was a 7 year gap between the last two murders of police officers by firearms, in both cases they happened unexpectedly, the officers had no reason to suspect that they were going into such a situation, so had they been armed it would not have made a difference.
In 1995, not long after an officer was killed by a gun, the police were polled about going to a fully armed force, 79% said no.



25 Post contains images A340600 : Britain manages to keep a lower crime rate the America without guns. We live in a civilised society, not saying you guys don't but if our crime rate's
26 Post contains images 2912n : GDB- Only 2 officers were killed by guns...but how many others died from knife/blunt object/other assaults? (serious question...I don't have the stats
27 Banco : The answer 2912n, is very few. You hve to remember that the murder rate in the UK is staggeringly low. For some reason Scotland is rather higher, but
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
British Police And Intel: Aces In My Book posted Thu Aug 10 2006 17:59:55 by ChrisNH
The Fat Police Lock Up A British Citizen posted Wed Feb 23 2005 05:03:56 by MD-90
Great Youtube Video - British Iraq Humor posted Wed Jan 17 2007 06:00:49 by Yellowstone
How Not To Get Beat Down By The Police posted Mon Jan 15 2007 05:40:26 by AAFLT1871
Police: Teen Seeking Kiss Rams Wrong Car posted Tue Jan 9 2007 16:56:25 by KaiGywer
14-year Old British Crosses Atlantic Ocean Alone posted Wed Jan 3 2007 20:24:15 by BA
Mom Sues Police After Son Dies In Custody posted Fri Dec 29 2006 07:49:29 by AAFLT1871
Your Police Department In Action posted Fri Dec 29 2006 02:58:27 by AAFLT1871
Aren't The British Public Silly posted Thu Dec 21 2006 19:40:44 by BA787
Why Don't Police Dogs Wear Bullet-proof Vests? posted Thu Dec 21 2006 00:31:27 by Coz