London's Armed Police: Up Close and Personal

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London's Armed Police: Up Close and Personal

London's Armed Police: Up Close and Personal

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Armed Police' 'Inside the Met's Firearms Unit' was published by Hale Publishing Ltd, it covered the early years of armed policing from 1966 right up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, if the force used is fatal, then the European Convention of Human Rights only allows "the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary". For example, Thames Valley Police has only used a firearm against a suspect once in its entire history.The police proverb 'better to be judged by twelve men than carried in a coffin by six' is no doubt true; but it is also vital that senior police officers exercise strong, wise and thoroughly engaged leadership and supervision of these firearms teams who have to carry out their duty in such extraordinary situations. Senior officers, including Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley, have been meeting with firearms officers in recent days to reflect on the charge. I was present the first time operationally the department used explosives to gain entry to a building. Armed officers also have access to the discriminating irritant projectile, which is designed to deliver a cloud of irritant in the direction of an aggressive offender.

The Metropolitan Police was formed on 29 September 1829, with the passing of the Metropolitan Police Act. Stun grenades were used and Walker was shot, resulting in a major success for the unit as the children were saved.

It is understood that firearms cover at airports, royalty and diplomatic protection and at parliament will not be affected. He left the Met in 2013 after 33 years service and now instructs firearms and tactics with a non-Home Office police force. Before the 1970s, rules regarding operational use of firearms dictated that they were to be worn in a holster on the duty belt, concealing the weapon until drawn. Reading this has given me a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for armed officers and has hit the nail on the head as to why the UK has one of the best specialist firearms officers in the world.

We are all threatened by the fact that criminals have firearms - and use them, notwithstanding the strict firearms licensing laws that limits their availability to some extent. I genuinely hope there will be ideas on a third book, perhaps on other units in the UK or abroad perhaps.

This is a non-fiction history but it is not a dry account and the author knows his subject and brings it to life. We are in ongoing discussions with those officers to support them and to fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have.

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