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Police Service Should Be Armed (UK)

Concerns have been raised over plans for armed police officers to patrol certain streets in London.

The pilot scheme will see armed Metropolitan officers carry out daily patrols in different trouble spots across the capital.

However, the prospect of armed police patrolling streets in London has been met with considerable opposition by campaign groups.

All the Yes points:

  1. Protecting communities
  2. Absolutely!

All the No points:

  1. Arming the police will do more harm than good
  2. It is hypocritical and will not benefit civilians

Protecting communities

Yes because…

Many communities are vulnerable to postcode gangs comprised of young people aged 14 and upwards who are armed and dangerous and making their areas unsafe to live in. Only a robust and proactive response from the police such as patrolling such territories with firearms so as to protect themselves and innocent civilians will address this problem.

No because…

Statistics from the British Crime Survey not only show that gun crime is very rare throughout in the UK, but also that it is decreasing year on year. The reason communities are so afraid is that an over-zealous media continually hype up individual incidences of gun crime to attract more readers.

Introducing guns onto the streets, even in a legal and good intentioned manner is a trigger for increasing the number of guns gangs and organised crime groups bring onto the street.


Yes because…

I agree vehemently.

The police need to be armed; they are frequently placed in positions in which they need to defend either themselves or somebody else. If they are shot at, they need to be capable of defending themselves and/or those around them. While Tazers ought to encouraged, police ought not be limited to having them as the sole article in their arsenal.

No because…

Firstly, the statistics show that knife and gun crime are over represented in the news.
There is a moral panic in which people think if they are attacked it will be by a knife wielding maniac. This is simply not true. There is more chance that you will be in a car accident than be attacked on the street.

Secondly, if you arm the police, it will only serve in arming the criminals to a higher level as well.

Look at Japan, the police are trained in hand to hand combat and carry no weapons. The criminals carry no firearms, partly because of the tight gun control laws and enforcement.

Thirdly, arming the police will normalise guns and make them seem less threatening. This will encourage people to have them as they become ‘desensitised’ to guns.

Fourthly, the police already have an armed response unit set aside for the rare occasions when firearms officers are needed. Having every police officer trained to use a firearm will increase training time and cost.

Arming the police will do more harm than good

No because…

Sending police out armed with firearms will only induce gangs to purchase more weapons of their own in response and increase the likelihood of gunfire exchange with whole communities caught in the middle. The only way people can be made to feel safer is for there to be fewer guns on the street, not more.

People do not feel reassured seeing armed police, instead feeling less safe, so the counterpoint falls down. Because we are usef to the police not having guns armed police make us feel less safe. If your community has armed police then obviously something very bad is happening![[http://www.metro.co.uk/news/830381-armed-police-would-make-brits-feel-threatened-according-to-poll]]

Yes because…

Feeling safe is just as important as being safe. The sight of armed police officers patrolling the streets will not only deter gangs from harrassing residents, but will install confidence in communities that they are being properly protected. Gangs are not interested in fighting the police, they are more concerned about attacks from other gangs in their area who are willing to break the law and attack them unprovoked.

It is hypocritical and will not benefit civilians

No because…

It is expressly illegal to own a gun in the UK unless it is a hunting rifle, and even then you need a license. What kind of example are the police setting if they can use guns, but we can’t? Policemen are still citizens! They have the same rights as anyone else, they aren’t in some way ‘immune’ to charges! Besides, what happens if some hopeless police officer lets his gun out of his sight for a minute and it gets in the wrong hands? This will not prevent crime, if anything it will provoke an increase in gun crime. Gun crime is low in the UK, and we should keep it that way.

Yes because…

The police in the UK should be armed. The events of the rioting in the summer of 2011 proved that they were powerless to protect the public.Recommendations ahve already been made by senior police officers that this is what should happen.

I live in Calgary now and the police here are armed. It is a far far safer city. Criminals know if they attack an officer they will be shot ndin some case they have been shot and killed. The police here are real police. When I lived in the UK people kept saying the British Police are the envy of the world, since I emigrated, I can tell you they are not. They are laughed at and people I speak to here cannot believe the UK police are not armed.

Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear – only the criminals. The criminals have guns and so should the police. To say this will increase gun crime is wrong. Gun crime has been on the increase for years in the UK. A police officer in the town where I lived turned up to a bank robbery and the thieves turned round and shot the officer. The police need to be able to repsond. Its time the UK woke up, kicked out political correctness and civil liberties and brought in common sense and justice.

I feel very safe in my adopted city knowing the police have the upper hand.

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David james parrott
7 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Yes they should be definetly armed.terrorism is getting out of hand. If not bring back hanging.we have forensics and dna profiles which are 100 per cent. Knife and gun crime should be severly punished. These violent and dangerous criminals. Should be punished. Younger criminals should be drafted into armed forces.or bring back national service.its the only way.has the uk prison service is at breaking point.

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