UK Police Chiefs Consider Arming Officers in Rural Areas to Combat Terrorists


Debates about changing the very nature of British constables, where 90 percent of officers are unarmed, get heated, as specially trained forces are understaffed and can’t respond promptly to terror threats in many areas. The idea of arming officers doesn’t find vast support among the police.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, who is in charge of armed policing on the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), has revealed that the police leadership is contemplating routinely providing regular officers with guns in rural areas. This option is seen as a way out of the current situation, where trained counterterrorism forces are unable to reach many distant areas in the UK.

According to The Guardian, citing plans presented to the police leadership, before regular officers get handguns they are to have two weeks’ training. Over this period constables are supposed to learn how to handle weapons as well as some basic technics. They will also be required to complete two days’ annual practice to refresh their qualifications. The armed officers are supposed to respond to possible terror threats when more experienced teams are unable to promptly manage an emergency.

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