Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Police and guns!

The Daily Express is calling for all officers to be armed.

Talk about knee jerk reaction, to actively call for the police to be armed as a matter of routine is very wrong.

I vaguely remember a tale from an American Police Officer, who when asked about when he would draw his weapon replied "only as a very last resort", when asked to explain further he stated, "once my pistol is out of my holster I only have two options, not to shoot, or to shoot and kill. I refuse to limit my options, whilst my gun remains in its holster I have many options, often just talking and giving the guy chance to reflect, is enough to bring the person round to my way of thinking". This from a land were we expect the Police to be gung ho!

I am against our Police Force being armed for a number of reasons,

. It encourages criminals to arm themselves.
. It makes Police lazy, far to easy to pull a gun.
. We no longer have the death penalty, so why should a Police Officer be Judge, Jury and executioner.
. To many mistakes have been made by Armed Officers.
. We have unfortunately lost most of the rank and file officers, who knew how to control a situation, you know the real coppers, the modern younger officers tend to go for the gung ho approach to policing.
. Just how many Officers have been killed by firearms, in the line of duty? Now set that against how many people Police have shot by mistake or caught in crossfire, or even just got it plain wrong!
. Police are trialing tazers in parts of the UK, why are they not nationwide?

Many will say the Police are doing an important job, and deserve to be armed to protect themselves, but the Police do make too many mistakes and better that ten men escape and go free than one innocent person is killed. We have had people shot for carrying chair/table legs, mistaken identity and then the most heinous crime, a man murdered by Police after a shoot to kill policy was allowed by the Government. These mistakes are just that mistakes, but if the Police were not armed they could not have happened. Now don't get me wrong if an armed blag is going down, then an Armed response is warranted, but I have a do problem with armed police as I believe that the training is insufficient! They seem to lack any common sense and appear to be policing in fear whilst armed!

The papers recently reported that one woman was killed, whilst the police waited outside, the suggestion was that whilst there was a chance of them being shot or injured, they wouldn't make a move and the woman died, whilst across the pennines a man was shot for carrying a samurai sword, when the neither the police not the general public were in any danger!

I noticed this starting about 9 or 10 years ago, my youngest, well he was then, was just an eight year old playing in the street, with a plastic gun borrowed from a friend, when a routine police car pulled up and told him if he didn't put the toy gun away he could end up shot and dead, no niceties, just plain terrifying to a youngster, bringing a climate of fear to a youthful mind. This in an area where gun crime is very very rare.

I believe that all guns should be outlawed completely, anyone found with a loaded weapon should be given life, but at the same time, any officer shooting an innocent person should also be given life! Back when I think it was the Forest Gate arrests in London, a youth was shot, the officer concerned was involved in another shooting a short time after, and nothing was done, no reprimand... nothing.

I ask can the Police be trusted with firearms.. No I think not!

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