MoD offers soldiers to support Met police

The Ministry of Defence is offering soldiers to support armed police in London after several Met police officers stood down from firearm duties in the wake of an officer being charged with the murder Chris Kaba.

A source has told the BBC that more than 100 officers have handed over their weapons permits.

The MoD revealed it received a request from the Home Office to "provide routine counter-terrorism contingency support to the Metropolitan Police, should it be needed".

On Thursday, the Met Commissioner released a statement following talks with firearms officers, he said: "They were understandably anxious as they consider how others may assess their split second decisions years after the event, with the luxury of as much time as they want to do this, and the effect this can have on them and their families.

"As I continue my work today, our firearms officers are on patrol deployed on proactive crime and counter terrorism operations as they are every day.

"They are not only prepared to confront the armed and dangerous to protect London's communities but they do so recognising the uniquely intense and lengthy personal accountability they will face for their split-second operational decisions.

"Indeed, I understand why many of them are reflecting on the potential price of such weighty responsibilities."

On Sunday, the commissioner called for reform of the police accountability system - in particular when they use force or undertake pursuits in the course of their duties. He also welcomed the announcement of a review by Home Secretary Suella Braverman in to how the actions of officers are scrutinised.

Sir Mark added: "There is a concern on the part of firearms officers that even if they stick to the tactics and training they have been given, they will face years of protracted legal proceedings which impact on their personal wellbeing and that of their family. While previous reviews have been announced, they have not delivered change.

“Carrying a firearm is voluntary. We rely on officers who are willing to put themselves at risk on a daily basis to protect the public from dangerous criminals including terrorists. Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, and the confidence that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour.”

Image by Kev from Pixabay


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