Police in rural areas may be armed to combat terror or major incidents

Police in rural and remote areas should be armed so they can respond more effectively to a terror attack or major incident, according to a top officer.

Simon Chesterman, Deputy Chief Constable of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary said: “Years ago there were beat officers who would go to the armoury in the police station and put a handgun on and go out and resolve an armed incident. I’m not saying we are going back to those days but it is an option.

“One of the options is you look at frontline response officers, devise a role profile and a training course for them, and you train them in use of a firearm to help to bridge that gap between the initial response and when the ARV can get there.”

Rural areas like Devon are currently already in discussions with the National Police Chief’s Council about arming more officers.

While there are 6,465 police marksmen in England and Wales, that’s lower than the 6,756 there were in March 2012…despite the ongoing terror threat and violent crime surge, and despite Theresa May promising to increase armed police numbers by 1,000.

Chesterman added: “Delivering the uplift has been a bit like filling the bath with the plug out because clearly we are losing officers to other disciplines but also trying to recruit at the same time.”

He went on to say that one of the reasons behind the shortfall is that officers fear prosecution if they shoot a criminal.

What a sad state of affairs that the terror threat, and the threat from other armed criminals, is so high. And how depressing that officers are afraid that they won’t be protected by the law.

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