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  1. #1
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Rural police 'sitting ducks' in UK terror attack

    Rural police 'sitting ducks' in UK terror attack - BBC News

    Rural police 'sitting ducks' in UK terror attack





    Police officers in rural areas fear they would be "sitting ducks" in the event of a terrorist gun attack in the UK, a Police Federation chairman says.
    A national shortage of armed officers could leave police in isolated areas "unarmed and vulnerable", John Apter, head of the Hampshire branch warned.

    Figures revealed the number of firearms officers in England and Wales last year fell to its lowest level since 1987.
    Home Secretary Theresa May will address the Police Federation conference later.
    The federation, which represents constables, sergeants and inspectors in England and Wales, is holding its annual conference in Bournemouth.
    Do police have firepower to tackle gun menace?

    Speaking to BBC Radio 4's File on 4, Mr Apter said armed officers could be more than 70 miles away if an attack was launched in a rural location.
    Some rural and coastal areas include potential terrorist targets - including energy and power plants.
    Nuclear power plants in Britain are guarded by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), whose officers are routinely armed, while firearms officers of the Ministry of Defence Police are responsible for facilities such as the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire.

    "Being realistic, if a firearms unit was coming from the middle of the county you are still talking about 30 miles away - you are not talking about a few minutes," he said.
    "There would be an understandable delay.
    "If a firearms unit is the other side of the county they could be 70 miles away so you are talking a significant distance.





    "So the only officers that you have available are unarmed and vulnerable officers and they are the officers that are saying to me that in a terrorist situation they would be sitting ducks."
    Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron announced money would be ring-fenced to boost the number of firearms officers in the UK, following terror attacks in Brussels and Paris.

    However, federation chairman Steve White said the government's plan to train another 1,500 firearms officers to deal with the terror threat looked doubtful.
    Officers are not volunteering to carry guns because they fear being "hung out to dry" and treated like a suspect if they discharge their weapon, he said.

    The result was "worrying" inconsistencies in the service nationally, leaving some forces without firearms officers and reliant on neighbouring forces for coverage, Mr White added.
    A national shortage of armed police was leaving the UK vulnerable to terror attacks, he warned.
    The head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which investigates fatal shootings by officers, said while firearms officers should not have impunity, they should also not be concerned by the watchdog's scrutiny.

    In a statement, IPCC chair Dame Anne Owers warned "those within the police service" to be careful "about stoking such fears".
    The IPCC had investigated 29 fatal shootings by police in the past 12 years, the statement added, and had only used its powers of arrest once.

    No 'magic pot'


    Che Donald, from the Police Federation, warned the recruitment drive could create a "gap" in the front line, as armed officers transferred from neighbourhood policing.
    "There isn't a magic pot we can just dip into and pull out a fully trained firearms officer," he said.
    CNC Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, the national lead on armed policing, said those concerns surrounding recruitment were starting to be tackled.
    He told the BBC: "At the fairly early stages of this recruitment process we are seeing officers coming forward to put themselves in harm's way,
    "At the moment this is not a crisis, but quite clearly, with some of the things going on in the background that are putting pressure on them, it could become one.
    "At the moment, sufficient officers are stepping forward but we're watching and monitoring it very carefully."

    Specialist teams


    Police minister Mike Penning said the government had committed an additional 143m over the next five years to provide "a national uplift in armed policing capability".

    Downing Street said police forces were recruiting more than 1,000 armed officers, setting up round-the-clock specialist teams outside London.
    More than 40 police armed response vehicles will also be deployed.

    "We will always ensure firearms officers are supported to take the difficult decisions necessary to protect the public," he said.
    File on Four is broadcast on BBC Radio Four on Tuesday 17 May at 20:00 BST.

  2. #2
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    pseudolus's Avatar
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    Ahhh so the push to arm all cops begins in earnest. Guess they know that all the guns in the UK are in rural areas...

  3. #3
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Just never understood the concept of unarmed cops.

    Maybe when the bad guys were armed with clubs, but now?

    Tradition is great, unless you're the unarmed copper going up against a gun.

  4. #4
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    Terrorists everywhere.
    Seems to be the accepted, fashionable and promoted mindset.


    ....still unaware of who the real terrorists might be.

  5. #5
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    I've never understood the concept of unarmed civilians.

    My dad had a shooter; kept in the house for when he was away working. Never had to use it, but it was there, all legal of course. We lived in a very rural area.

    Before the gun laws were introduced after the VERY suspect dunblain event, there were loads of shooters about. Even my mates granddad had a Luger he kept in his crossword puzzle draw that he would show us, teaching us how to handle the tool that it is.




    Ban guns.... and then the coppers actually need guns.

  6. #6
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    pseudolus's Avatar
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    As an aside though, the idea that UK cops are not armed is a fallacy. The number of roving Gun Squad vehicles on duty all the time has increased immeasurably since the Blair government. Armed Response units are called to everything these days, even chip pan fires.

  7. #7
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    .....


    Real men have guns.


  8. #8
    Harbinger of Doom

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    Just never understood the concept of unarmed cops.
    Britain has many faults but not allowing the police to go about tooled up as a matter of course is one its better points.

  9. #9
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    You can't routinely arm police in the UK, the system of policing is different, then in most countries that have armed police.
    UK armed response cops are like US Swat teams, they bring guns to a gun fight, not to a shop lifting, so if armed they don't deal with day to day crime.
    Every armed cop is one less police officer doing normal police duties.

    You can have the weapons locked in the boot of the car, which would have done a lot of good in the Trooper Rigby case, by the time they has received permission and got the guns out, they or others could have been killed.

    In order to move from unarmed general policing to an armed force, the laws need to be changed, in the Brussels incident, a terror suspect was shot in the back while fleeing a raid.
    If that happened in the UK, the officer would be charged with murder, as there was no imminent threat to life, most countries the level of threat before lethal force can be used, is much lower.

  10. #10
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    what about the unarmed librarians - achmed could easily enter a library and shout allah akbar and not be booked

  11. #11
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    There is a compromise, many cops have tasers nowadays

  12. #12
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    There is a compromise, many cops have tasers nowadays
    Not much good to a cop going up against a criminal with a gun.

    I understand your point, and tasers have their uses, but going against guns isn't one of them.

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat
    Police officers in rural areas fear they would be "sitting ducks" in the event of a terrorist gun attack in the UK, a Police Federation chairman says.
    A national shortage of armed officers could leave police in isolated areas "unarmed and vulnerable"
    Sitting ducks against any gun attack but let's be sure to highlight them nasty terrorists. Keep fear at a boil.

  14. #14
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    It's called proportional response. As Sid said, plenty of firearms in the countryside. Farmers, land owners hunters and game shooters.
    This headline is the police federation lobbying for extra staff and funding.
    The two recent complaints about terrorism were aimed at a live training incident in the Trafford centre, and some biff security training team leaving kit behind after an exercise.
    The peole of Manchester can be assured that security services are training to protect the population. Better to make mistakes in training, rather than find out too late that the civilian population was totally unprepared.

  15. #15
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    A real life English rural setting gun crime, think Cumbria 2010 when a Thailand veteran Derrick Bird killed 12 people.
    Bird a 52 year old English man drove around Whitehaven for 3 hours and armed officers where unable to locate the gunman.
    Then there was 37 yr old Raol Moat in 2010 , another rural killing spree.

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