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She added: “That’s why I’ve launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their job while keeping us all safe. »

Welcoming the review, Sir Mark called for changes to the way the justice system treats police officers.

He said armed Metropolitan Police officers responded to around 4,000 incidents each year, but only discharged their weapons on average twice, which is less than 0.05 per cent.

In an open letter, he said: “Armed officers know they must justify their actions, especially when deadly force is used.

“They are extremely well trained and an intrinsic part of their training emphasizes that shots can only be fired if absolutely necessary to save lives.

“But gun controllers fear that even if they stick to the tactics and training they have been given, they will face years of protracted legal proceedings that will impact their personal well-being and that of their family. »

He called for more clarity in the law about when officers can defend themselves and for faster resolution of investigations and prosecutions.

Firearms officers are highly trained, making them difficult to replace in the short term.

They are tested twice a year, but receive no extra pay for volunteering to carry a gun.

Need for “sufficient legal protection”

In his letter, Sir Mark said he was proud of the UK’s “policing by consent” model and that the public relied on “officers willing to put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect the public dangerous criminals.” including terrorists.

He added: “Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, as well as assurance that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favor . »

One area of ​​the Metropolitan Police that has been significantly affected is the Armed Response Vehicle Units, which contain three firearms officers and patrol the capital 24 hours a day, providing rapid responses to incidents major.

Sources told the Telegraph the unit had been severely depleted over the weekend, with officers from neighboring forces called in to provide cover.

A Ministry of Defense spokesperson said: “We have accepted a request for military assistance to civil authorities from the Home Office to provide routine counter-terrorism emergency support to the Metropolitan Police, if this proves necessary. »

Military personnel will only assist police as necessary in carrying out specific tasks and will not have powers of arrest. They are not expected to be used to perform routine unarmed officer duties.

Soldiers have already been requested by ministries to assist the government’s Covid taskforce and to help when large parts of the country were flooded.

In December last year, military and civil servants at major airports, including Gatwick and Heathrow, replaced 1,000 Border Force officers on strike for pay. Just like the police, the military cannot strike.

There was a significant backlash from the armed forces when they were asked to give up their Christmas in 2022 to cover for striking NHS workers.

telegraph Uk

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Source : visitskane

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