Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Lethal Force

The guidance to police officers on the use of lethal force has been honed over the years and in the light of several publicised incidents. Discretion is given to commanders to respond appropriately in the light of what could be fast-developing situations. It seems to me that this responsibility is in the right place, and that the principle of maintaining a cadre of well-trained firearms officers to be deployed in critical situations is the right one.

So the pressure to arm regular constables as a matter of routine should be resisted. Apart from the difficulty of bringing every ordinary PC up to the required standard, arming them is going to inhibit their relations with the public and also tend to make them a target.

The lesson from Paris is not that the police did not have enough fire power but that better intelligence is needed, along with the sense to act on it.

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