Call for more armed police

Police chiefs in Lancashire have launched a drive to recruit more trained armed officers to respond to serious incidents.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 3:00 pm

The constabulary has advertised vacancies for a number of Armed Response Vehicle officers.

Trained officers from other forces throughout England and Wales have been invited to apply.

Last month, it was reported that 1,500 more armed officers are to be deployed on Britain’s streets, following the extremist attacks in Paris and Nice earlier this year.

Eighty-four people died when a lorry was driven into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice in July.

Already, 600 new armed officers have been trained by the country’s biggest force, London’s Metropolitan Police, to tackle the terror threat. The officers were introduced in the capital earlier this month.

A Lancashire police spokesman said: “We constantly review intelligence to assess what the threat is to Lancashire and to ensure that we have adequate firearms coverage so that we are able to quickly respond to any part of the county in order to mitigate that threat.”

Lancashire has its own specialised firearms unit based at locations around the county.

In the past, the force has at any one time had nine armed officers on patrol.

The standard issue weapon is the Glock SLP while officers are also armed with the Heckler and Koch G36 carbine.

Tasers are carried by armed response officers, as well as officers from the operations support unit and appropriately trained local officers.

Successful applicants must hold a firearms fitness test certificate and a firearms medical certificate alongside other qualifications.

The Police Federation of England and Wales raised concerns about the time it would take to recruit 1,500 new armed officers.

Steve White, chairman of the Federation, warned it may take up to two years.

He said: “When you’re recruiting 1,500 it’s going to take a lot of time. You’ve got to find the resources, the facilities and the people.”