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More firearms officers ready to protect the public

More firearms officers ready to protect the public
 NPCC - There are 640 more firearms officers protecting the public in England and Wales than this time last year.The increase is largely financed by a £143mil Home Office programme with forces paying for additional officers. The funding has resulted in an extra 41 Armed Response Vehicles (ARVs) on the road in England and Wales in any given 24 hours, ready to respond rapidly to major incidents including terrorist attacks. They are based in areas considered to be at greatest threat or with geographical challenges. The plan is to recruit around 1500 extra officers in total by the end of 2018 across the 43 Home Office forces – some of which will be highly specialised in responding to ongoing terrorist incidents. With armed policing a voluntary role, recruiting, training and retaining officers remains a challenge for all forces. “We have increased our ability to respond swiftly to serious threats to public safety and work continues to build on these numbers” says the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Armed Policing, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman. “Officers who serve as part of firearms units are volunteering themselves for an immensely difficult and dangerous role that will put them in harm’s way. “They naturally have concerns about the impact their job could have on their families. They need to know they will be supported in the rare instance that they might discharge their firearm.” Mr Chesterman also said that the recruitment of counter terrorism specialist firearms officers (CTSFOs) would be extended until the end of 2018. These officers are taken from the ARV ranks and given extra training similar to that of  the military. “We are looking to double the size of the CTSFO team that was built for the Olympics,” Mr Chesterman adds. “They will be brigaded into hubs around the country. These officers are a potent force that train alongside the military and are fully interoperable. “They will be deployed to deal with serious organised crime threats as well as terrorism.” The current increase in firearms officers will take levels back up to over 7000 in Home Office forces, similar to numbers seen at the start of the decade. However, DCC Chesterman stresses that the skills of the officers now being trained is far wider than those who were lost when numbers reduced. “We now have the capability to deliver much more,” he says. “We also have plans in place to mobilise the non-Home Office forces to give support to a major incident and – if needed – the military. “We have the ability to move much quicker to resolve situations. Previously the approach was to locate, contain and neutralise. Now it is to locate and confront. Our tactics are more aggressive.”
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Taser continues to prove its worth

Taser continues to prove its worth
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Gun crime in London increases by 42%

BBC NEWS - Gun crime offences in London surged by 42% in the last year, according to official statistics.

The Met Police's figures showed there were 2,544 gun crime offences from April 2016 to April 2017 compared to 1,793 offences from 2015 until 2016.

Knife crime also increased by 24% with 12,074 recorded offences from 2016 to 2017.

The Met said although crime rates were rising they remained at a much lower level than five years ago.

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Police Scotland stopped enhanced payments to officers

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Sara Thornton: 'PIP must reflect support our officers deserve'

Sara Thornton: 'PIP must reflect support our officers deserve'

NPCC Chairman, writing exclusively for Police Oracle, says balance between full investigation and fair treatment of armed police officers must be found.

Police officers who serve as part of firearms units are volunteering themselves for an immensely difficult and dangerous role that will put them in harm’s way.

While the rest of us take cover, armed officers rush into the face of danger. They deserve more than just our thanks and respect. To do their job, armed officers need our active support.

At Chief Constables Council which I chaired last week, we discussed current draft statutory guidance submitted by the IPCC for handling incidents when a weapon is discharged causing death or serious harm, all ‘key policing witnesses’ – including officers themselves – should be separated from one another. While we understand that in some circumstances this might be required, this will frequently be unnecessary.

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Armed Officers Save Lives

Armed Officers Save Lives

THE SUN - London terror attack proves why ordinary police need firearms training and must carry guns, says ex-Met gun cop. British paranoia about guns clouds common sense

By Tony Long, ex-Met firearms officer who shot and killed three people in the line of duty

WHEN you go on holiday to Spain and see police with guns, picking up little kids and having their photo taken, do you think you are in a police state?

No, it is a myth that having armed officers on the street turns a country into a police state.

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Anti-terror police grab suspects from car

BBC NEWS - Armed anti-terror police have grabbed two people from a car in a busy Birmingham street.

A man and woman, aged 21 and 23, were plucked from a red Ford Fiesta in Alum Rock Road. They have been detained on suspicion of preparing for terrorist acts.

Five homes and a business were searched in the city as part of the planned operation, West Midlands Police said.

The arrests are unrelated to last week's attack in Westminster.

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Mark Duggan's family lose inquest appeal

BBC NEWS - The family of Mark Duggan, whose death sparked riots around England, have lost a legal challenge against the conclusion his death was lawful.

Jurors concluded the 29-year-old was lawfully killed by a police marksman in Tottenham, north London, in August 2011.

Mr Duggan's mother, Pamela, had asked for the January 2014 finding to be quashed.

But three Court of Appeal judges have rejected her case.

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Police Scotland to lead terror exercise

A major counter-terrorism exercise will take place in Scotland later this year, the Prime Minister has announced.

The operation in October will test the multi-agency response that would come into force in the event of a terror attack.

Theresa May made the announcement on a visit to Glasgow where she met with officers from Police Scotland, which will act as the lead force throughout the operation.

She met a range of officers working in counter-terrorism, including some who were involved in Police Scotland’s response to last week’s attack in Westminster.

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Police face shortage of armed officers

The Sunday Times - A police chief has warned for the first time that forces will fail to meet the government’s pledge to increase the number of armed officers, made last year to reassure the public about the country’s ability to combat a severe terrorist threat.

Speaking after last week’s attack on Westminster, Simon Chesterman, the lead expert on armed policing for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said they faced a “massive challenge” in recruiting the extra 1,500 firearms officers that were promised — and warned that forces would not be able to deliver on the pledge made by David Cameron last April. The number of armed officers has fallen from 6,976 in 2010 to 5,639 last year

Chesterman said problems in attracting recruits had been created by the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s (IPCC) insistence on treating armed officers as suspects each time they discharge weapons. His warning comes as it emerged that security at the gates breached by the Westminster attacker Khalid Masood had been downgraded two months ago. Armed officers were removed and replaced by unarmed police, one of whom, PC Keith Palmer, was killed by Masood.

The Sunday Times understands that senior Met chiefs changed the rota at the carriage gates from a “static” patrol, involving a permanent deployment of two armed officers, to unarmed sentries supported by an occasional “roving” group of armed officers who check the location every hour.

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Wembley enhanced security operation

TELEGRAPH - An enhanced security force including heavily-armed police officers and tank-like armoured vehicles ensured that England's World Cup qualifier against Lithuania passed without disruption.

The "robust" security operation was put in place on the streets outside Wembley as London remained on high alert following last week's terror attack in Westminster.

It meant that hundreds of officers were supplemented by the presence of armed policemen and a series of bomb-proof "Guardian" vehicles.

A wreath was laid in memory of the four victims of the attack before the start of the match, while both sets of players wore black armbands in tribute to those who were killed and injured in Wednesday’s atrocity.

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Westminster Terrorist Attack

Yesterday saw an attack at the very heart of democracy in our country.  There has been a tragic loss of life and our thoughts are very much with all of those affected including the family of PC Keith Palmer.

As a charity that proudly provides support for firearms officers and their families, we will work closely with the officers involved. This incident graphically reinforces the threat our country faces. The incident was brought to a conclusion by the prompt, professional actions of firearms officers. The officers involved have our total support. We will work with the MPS in supporting any police officer that may be affected by the events.

There is currently an on-going national uplift programme to increase the numbers of armed officers around the country. We support this uplift and will play our part in providing important welfare support to officers and their families, working alongside the Police Federation and Police Forces.

Mark WilliamsCEO

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Mock terrorism exercise on River Thames

BBC NEWS - More than 200 Met Police officers have taken part in a simulated terrorist attack on the River Thames in London.

Half a dozen "terrorists" hijacked a pleasure craft heading towards London from Kent taking dozens of people hostage in the Met's first big training operation on water.

The boat was intercepted by firearms officers near the Isle of Dogs.

The Met said the exercise was not in response to any specific threat to the river or the capital.

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My friends call me Lara Croft

My friends call me Lara Croft

BBC NEWS - PC Kelly Ellis has her finger hovering over the trigger of her Heckler and Koch G36 rifle.

She has a split second to decide whether to open fire on a man who appears to be drunk and suicidal and is holding a shotgun, pointing it at the ground.

Her colleague is calmly - but firmly - explaining the right thing to do is to put the weapon down.

But what if he does not? What if he raises the barrels? What then?

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Government must offer support

Police Oracle - The Government must offer financial support to enable forces to buy the new model of Taser, the Police Federation has said.As previously reported, the Home Office announced last week the new X2 model of Taser has finally been approved and is set to gradually replace the current X26 which was discontinued by the manufacturer in December 2014.

The Police Federation said it was “welcome news” but the rollout could be stopped in its tracks without funding to support it.“This is very much a case of give with one hand and take with the other,” said Police Federation Chair Steve White.

“Beyond simply giving it their seal of approval, the Government needs to offer financial support to allow forces to purchase the new device, otherwise it’ll stay firmly on the shelf. You cannot put a price on safety.”

In a statement on the medical implications of the X2, the Scientific Advisory Committee on the Medical Implications of Less Lethal Weapons (SACMILL) said the new weapon was “more complicated” than the X26 but that it was “broadly satisfied” by the evidence it had examined.

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Warning of terrorists crossing via ferry

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Man stabbed sister and mother

WEST MIDS POLICE - A man killed his sister and critically injured his mother in a knife attack at a Wolverhampton flat before turning the knife on himself, West Midlands Police can confirm.

Police were called to a high-rise block in Leasowes Drive, in the Merry Hill area of the city, at around 9.45am Weds 8 March following reports a knifeman had attacked two women in a property.

Officers stormed the first floor apartment, in Highfield Court, and used stun grenades to distract the attacker and detain him.

A woman aged 33 was found with fatal stab wounds and pronounced dead at the scene, while the 36-year-old attacker – the woman’s brother – is understood to have turned the knife on himself and also died a short time later.

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Driver denies firearms charges

Daily Mail - A driver accused of firearms offences following a police operation in which his passenger was shot dead has denied the charges in court.

Moshin Amin, 30, was charged after the operation on a motorway slip road near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, during which Mohammed Yassar Yaqub was shot.

Amin pleaded not guilty at Leeds Crown Court to possessing a handgun, a silencer and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

The court heard that the defendant is accused of carrying out the offences with Mr Yaqub, who died from gunshot wounds to the chest after an Audi in which he was a passenger was stopped by police beside the M62 at Ainley Top on January 2.

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Exceptional Circumstances

THE STANDARD - Armed police will no longer be automatically suspended for firing their guns, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced.

She told MPs that firearms officers would only be suspended from duty in “exceptional circumstances” - and emphasised there was no rule preventing them from shooting first.

Her announcement came after a Tory MP claimed the current rules were “not fit for purpose” as many officers feared they would spend years under investigation just for using their guns.

Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, said: “I'm quite concerned by the fact that a number of police officers, both here at the Palace of Westminster and in Downing Street, that they as armed police officers don't feel that they are getting the freedom to act that they should have, because of the rules of engagement.

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13 UK terror attacks foiled

Security services have prevented 13 potential terror attacks since June 2013, the UK's most senior counter-terrorism police officer has revealed.

Assistant commissioner Mark Rowley also said there were 500 live counter-terror investigations at any time.

He disclosed the figures as he launched an appeal, Action Counters Terrorism, for the public to report suspicions.

Information from the public has helped police in a third of the most high-risk investigations, figures show.

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