You may have heard the news in the mainstream press about the shooting dead of two female police officers in Manchester, England recently. In my opinion one of the ways in which their deaths could of been prevented was better intelligence on the supposed killer, and possibly better use of informants.
Since the news broke about this incident, many people have voiced their concern about ways in which an event like this, could be prevented in the future. One of the more popular topics centred around this has been the issue of whether or not arm the police.
Many people are oblivious to the fact that police forces in the UK have specialist (armed) trained officers who, if need be can be summoned if they believe the public or themselves to be at risk from violent criminals and such.
I remember once seeing armed police on the streets of Weston-super-Mare at one time where it was reported that a criminal was spotted walking along the rooftops on the High Street stores.
While it was obvious who the armed officers were (because they were carrying guns slung over their shoulders) I don’t think the public were aware if the armed response was due to ‘sound’ intelligence or whether it was just a report called in by a member of the public. The one thing that was evident was just how rapid a response there was from the initial sighting of this rogue criminal, and how professional the police conducted themselves.
If one were to arm regular bobbies (UK slang for officers on patrol) and train them all on the use of firearms, not only would the cost of doing so be prohibitive, but accidents and deaths (due to officers shooting themselves) not to mention trigger happy officers, possibly shooting innocent people (which would more likely occur without the specialist armed response units) would probably outweigh any positive benefit of having regular police officers carrying guns.
In my view it is a nonsense to consider it.