What I am amazed about is that people who are supposedly intelligent (i.e. words of more than two syllables, proppa spelling and PuNctuati on) are assuming that gun training for beat cops would be folded into the world of Coppering as we see it now.
When the UK police become armed (and they WILL be armed) it will require a complete overhaul of the way they are told to approach MOPs (personal space, right to use a pre-emptive strike to create distance, remaining in a vehicle if stopped for a traffic offence) and it will almost certainly lead to automatic cuffing of everyone nicked for anything (hands unrestrained, can make a grab for the sidearm).
Something as culture shattering as arming police with lethal force is an option that would require a similar type of overhaul to the one that we are still feeling the effects of...that sprang from McPherson's report about how howwidly wacist cops in England and Wales were (and according to Ally Dizzy STILL are...which is why they spent over 10 million getting him out of a job...but I digress).
When I trained for both Specials and Regulars we had a ridiculously silly emphasis on how empathy, a friendly tone and a respect for what you think the other person's beliefs are...would result in compliance and everyone wanting to cuddle a copper.
The baton and cuffs and spray were like fashion accessories that they only trained us to use two weeks before we went out on our first patrol (for Old School or The Newest School...from 2006 to 2008 they were training us at Uni and sending us out in stages so Phase 1 was 2 weeks, then back to Uni for a month then Phase 2 etc). We were specifically told that use of force was something that we shouldn't have to resort to if we were doing our jobs properly (with the failsafe of "but yeah, of course, OCCASIONALLY you will meet someone who is drunk or has mental issues").
I met a cop in Georgia two years ago while in the US on holiday. He was talking to a barmaid at a local pub on the doorstep and chatted briefly with me. Even though I was drunk I could still tell that, while friendly he was totally aware of my body language (a quick check), that he adjusted his stance as I approached him (shifted sideways on) and only relaxed when he realised I only wanted to say Hi. He assumed I was an "unknown factor". He did not do that ridiculous crap I was taught to do of assuming everyone is a good egg unless they prove otherwise.
What I find most disgusting about this whole shebang is that even now, when officers are hurt in a ludicrous display of special needs petulance, and the Met Commissioner himself appears on BBC News to express his sympathies…we are STILL debating a point that is no longer moot.
Cops SHOULD AND MUST BE ARMED NOW. If you’re that fking afraid of annoying Wayne and Waynetta Public then start with Tazers and a gun in a locked safe in the ARV, then in a year or two when it’s proven that this hasn’t caused shoplifters to go out and buy depleted uranium rounds for their Nerf guns THEN move up to a gun on the hip.
Four officers were hurt detaining ONE man.
Read that back to yourself slowly.
OST is so atrocious that you are NOT told how to disarm someone with a blade beyond spraying them and if you then find out that they’re the 1 in 10, have heavy mucus membranes, or are just to drunk to feel it then your Plan B is to run away and call for Firearms to attend.
ANY threat of force needs to be met not with the same level of force but with ” Plus 1″….i.e. if you hit a cop, he sprays you. If you attack him with a bottle, he tazes you and if the bottle is broken or you have a knife or gun…you get shot with lethal force.
I have a friend in City of London police who 100% believes that in that “Machete vs Riot Shields” embarrassment last May…that the cops on scene behaved totally appropriately.
Bravely sure. Appropriately?!! Nope.
The wailing and teeth gnashing when Menezes was shot was totally disproportionate to what was actually going on, i.e. two terrorist attacks in 2 weeks and the worst of their kind since the blitz from World War 2.
Whenever a UK officer shoots someone it is treated as if someone let a Rottweiler off its leash and it bit a child. Only after going over all the evidence with a fine toothed comb do we then say “oh, actually maybe that WAS appropriate force”.
When Andrew Kernan was shot dead by police in July 2001, his mother lamented that “you don’t kill someone with a mental illness”…as if a spontaneous reaction to finding someone in the street in their pyjamas swinging a sword should encompass their mental state.
Tazer, while more ACPO-promotion friendly, is a weapon that can only be used at close range and ONLY if both barbs penetrate the skin.
The disgusting obessession with not making the police SCARY to the public is a myth that can no longer be supported.
I am with our exalted Guv on this one. Arm the police. Give them training to defend themselves that doesn’t involve shouting “GET BACK!!!” while shoving with an open handed palm strike to the chest and most importantly….allow the evidence available AT THE TIME to determine the outcome, not a load of crap put in place afterwards to make everyone feel retrospectively guilty.
** And just so there’s no misunderstanding on how passionately I care about this…the officers that killed Jean Charles de Menezes deserve gallantry medals. They 100% believed they were killing a suicide bomber. Their mindsets were those of heroes, not murderers.