Arm The Police, Or Not?

I am Old School, a Traditionalist, and I make no apology for that. 

In my heart we would be policed in the old-fashioned way, a truncheon, a whistle and a cape. However, in my head I know that is no longer possible.

I detest the idea of arming the Police, it’s not how things should be, not how the British Police operate, but life is not that simple any more.

My head is telling me that ALL Front Line officers should be routinely armed, and a proscribed percentage of Middle Office and Back Office offices should be trained and authorised.  The world has changed, nothing we can do about that in the short-term.  We are about 21,000 officers short on what we did have in 2010, the population is growing and terrorism has returned to the streets of Britain. Mainly England I agree but certainly not restricted to London alone.  It could strike literally anywhere.

Faced with a knife or machete wielding terrorist or a suicide bomber we must rely on “Can you hang on a minute till the ARV gets here please?”

If the government or NPCC or College of Policing, Police Federation do not want a routinely armed Police Service the only other visble option is to MASSIVELY INCREASE the number of ARVs on our streets, giving all Forces, Boroughs, OCUs sufficient armed officers to provide a meaningful response to any armed situation from hostage-taking, bank robberies through to terrorism in any form.  Not sharing resources like the NPAS fiasco, each Force MUST have its own dedicated resources.  My own Force (where I live in DeadBadgerShire) consists of 3 large counties, I wouldn’t want to dilute our meagre resources further.

The choice is simple to me, we MUST accept that the world has changed and can’t be reversed quickly, if at all. Arm the Police or increase the ARVs.  Either option would benefit hugely from reducing some, or preferably all, of the 21,000 losses incurred by the Tories.

I actually, and honestly, believe that the majority of the British public would support either of these proposals.

Is “Do Nothing” an option?


  1. Oh I so much agree that a whistle cape and truncheon should suffice, but things have changed so much in so little time that all officers, yes all officers should be armed. I live in Spain and all officers are armed, even security personnel, and they are given respect by the majority of people.
    The big problem is, a policeman draws his weapon and all hell is let loose, questions in Parliament, questions here questions there, let’s get the police to court, no support from the Government or any other party. If we have a Police force let it do its job, within reasonable grounds.if you are law abiding citizens, support the Police, if you are not, then take the consequences. We need a Government with teeth NOT toothless tigers, and we need a Police FORCE!

    • retiredandangry

      It was certainly a Police FORCE that I joined all those years ago, and we got much more respect than officers get now

  2. Gordon Williamson

    I was regularly armed but never wanted all Officers to be routinely armed.
    However times have changed and so have the tactics of those who would harm us.
    No longer is it criminals and or terrorists who would carry firearms as a means of avoiding capture.
    Now we have a breed of extremists who’s soul intent is to kill and harm as many people as possible with no concern about capture, they wish to die in their attempt to achieve martyrdom.
    1st responding Officers no longer have the option of standing off and waiting for armed assistance.
    The longer they wait to intervene the greater the loss of innocent lives.
    Training needs to start immediately.
    We will also need an increase in Specialist Firearms Officers to back up first responders.
    We will also need to restore the numbers of Officers lost.
    All future selection of Officers needs to be on the basis that they will be armed.
    But it will be at a cost in terms of training and what is required of our officers!
    It will be a sad day and not one I ever wished to see.
    The public will get used to it and adapt.
    We will also need to see a change in attitudes from Senior Management, Government and people like the IPCC in keeping with the changes that our officers will now face!

    • retiredandangry

      I can only agree with everything you say Gordon. Times have most definitely changed and so must our response. A sad day, but inevitable. And yes, we do need those 21,000 posts back again.

  3. I too joined when it was a police Force straight from the army where for 2 years I had to carry a personal weapon at all times while in NI. I was relieved not to have that responsibility any longer but my view changed as my Force became a Service. Since the mid 90’s I have been of the opinion that front line officers should carry a weapon on duty but it is also in my view equally importent that the public are educated in how to behave when confronted by an armed officer.

    • retiredandangry

      A good point Gary, and often overlooked. A certain section of the Public have no idea how they should behave when confronted by an armed officer

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