Should British Police Be Armed?

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Should Police be armed? On Tuesday 18th September 2012, two female police constables, Fiona Bone aged thirty two, and Nicola Hughes, aged twenty three, were shot in cold blood, responding to a bogus burglary call. This murder of two unarmed police officers on duty has started a debate about whether all police officers should be armed in the line of duty. According to government figures, there were 6,868 officers authorised to carry firearms in England and Wales in 2009. This was out of 143,770 police officers in England and Wales, which means less than 5% of officers are allowed to carry a firearm. What are the arguments for and against police officers carrying firearms? Arguments For: An armed police force will deter criminal behaviour - Most countries in Europe and North America have armed police forces. Armed criminals can be found everywhere. This means that criminals don’t have to worry about the police being able to defend themselves with guns and so it makes it easier for them to commit crimes. Using armed police was successful in Bristol, because in 2003, police were armed to take the tension of gang related crimes away. Police were then able to go back into the inner – city areas unarmed without have to worry about armed gang related crimes. Point Most countries in Europe and North America have armed police forces, in part to deter criminal acts, but also to protect officers working in an armed or dangerous environment’ . Armed criminals operate in at least some areas of virtually every jurisdiction. Given this reality, a failure to routinely arm the police gives armed criminals a strong advantage in terms of their ability to threaten and commit violence, without any corresponding risk to themselves.[1] In Bristol in England where police are not routinely armed the deployment of armed police in inner-city areas in 2003 defused gang tensions and
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