THE tragic shooting in Bradford of two policewomen, resulting in the death of one, will hopefully wake up the politicians and police chiefs alike, to the fact some major reforms are needed in the policing of Britain. Firstly, it seems incomprehensible that two policewomen, still in their probationary period, patrol together. Surely, it is an elemental factor in any walk of life, that someo9ne learning is accompanied by someone with real experience, i.e. one is showing the ropes to the other, the experienced officer may cope with any given situation better than someone just starting. Police statements in the wake of this shooting, nothing more could have been done ... and no body armour offers full protection to knife or gunshot ... etcetera, show a complete lack of reality. The alarm set off at the travel agent could have been an irate client verbally abusing staff over a holiday gone wrong, or, as in this case, an armed robbery. Police called have no way of knowing, and walked into the scenario that caused a muder. Likewise, a call to domestic violence can also result in someone having a shotgun - this is just a lottery of life and death for police officers. That body armour is not effective, must be a matter of cost, i.e. what you buy, soldiers in combat have quite effective equipment, so spend the money! Then comes the biggest question of all, to arm British police or not? The U.K. and New Zealand are the only two countries apparently left in the world who do not uniformly arm their police, and there is no comparison with crime rates, etcetera, between those two countries.
IT will take time to train police to not only handle guns with proficiency, but mentally be able to be prepared to use them. Some may not, but there always is a need for behind the front line officers, clerical staff, etcetera, but an urgent decision is needed to get the whole thing started, as over 30 police officers killed in the line of duty in the last year calls for revised policy. That is apart from police being shot at, not resulting in headline catching injuries, deaths, etcetera. No-one would think of sending soldiers into battle unarmed, so why the police? It is after all, a permanent battlefield on the streets, and for police to be officially told to back off/run away to a safe distance to give a running commentary when confronted by someone with a firearm is ridiculous (but understandable) and gives no protection to the public. Something has got to change.
Graham Phillips, Palma de Majorca
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