Great Britain | The Army is no longer required – Armed policemen back on duty
Defence Redefined
Published on 27/09/2023 at 17:07

Armed police officers are back on duty, the Metropolitan Police (MET) announced, so the help of the Army is no longer needed, as was known earlier.

Rishi Sunak is backing a review of the case of the armed Metropolitan Police officer charged with murder last year, as ordered by Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, yesterday.

Several officers in the firearms unit have returned to their duties, so that the MET can meet its counter-terrorism responsibilities without military assistance.

The Ministry of Defence yesterday offered soldiers to fill gaps in shifts after dozens of uniformed officers surrendered their weapons licenses in protest following the manslaughter charge against a colleague who shot and killed Chris Kaba following a chase last year.

According to ERT, the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba has put the rights and responsibilities of armed police at the center of public debate after an officer known only as “NX121” was charged last week with the 24-year-old’s murder. Earlier, Rishi Sunak said that armed policemen deserve public gratitude, but clarity is needed on their legal powers.

Most police officers in the UK are not armed. Where armed support is required, it is provided by specially trained and accredited firearms officers known as Authorized Firearms Officers (AFOs).

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In the MET, armed incident support is primarily provided by Special Weapons Command MO19. There are also armed officers in a number of other units, including the Air Force, the Royal and Special Protection Command, and the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.

There are many levels of armed officers. Officers, the Met says, undergo rigorous selection and training to become armed officers. Their initial and ongoing training depends on the role they have to perform. All training is governed by the National College of Policing’s “National Police Firearms Training Curriculum” (NPFTC).

The curriculum, along with the MET’s Chief Firearms Instructor, ensures that relevant training modules are completed by all officers within their specific role profile.

Here are some examples of the duties of an authorized armed officer listed on the police website:

  • Response to high-risk incidents
  • Participating in preventive police operations where information indicates that armed support may be required
  • Ensuring public order at events
  • Provision of enhanced and ballistic medical assistance to save lives
  • Close cooperation with partners, including the military.

Also read: Cyprus Police | Members of the Special Anti-Terrorist Platoon in special training in Hungary




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