by Jason Moore

The tragic death of two police officers in Manchester has once again opened up the debate for British police officers to be armed. In Spain even municipal police officers carry weapons and just last month a National Police officer was forced to use his weapon in the centre of Palma when he came under attack from a man armed with a large knife. The attacker was shot in the leg and detained. Spanish police officers are amazed that their British counterparts are not armed. In most cases they think it is rather an old fashioned outlook on police at a time when officers are involved in counter-terrorist operations. I also think that British police officers should be armed, their colleagues on mainland Europe have shown that there is a need for armed officers. “Armed officers will encourage more armed offenders,” is the excuse used not to arm police officers in Britain. But I think you will find that most major offenders in Britain are already armed. During the riots last year a police helicopter came under fire and weapons were subsequently found in the police's counter riot raids. Just before the London Olympics police arrested a group of men who were said to be armed to the teeth in a counter terrorist operation. In other words there are guns and other weapons on the streets of Britain, in some cases probably on a larger scale than in countries in the rest of Europe. Let us forget these old fashioned ideas and get the force armed before another tragedy happens.

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