On The Pulse: Should police officers be armed?


The deaths of two female police officers in Greater Manchester earlier this week has ignited debate as to whether police officers should be armed.


By Hayley Fox

The deaths of two female police officers in Greater Manchester earlier this week has ignited debate as to whether British police officers should be routinely armed.

PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes were shot and killed when they went to investigate a suspected burglary.

Dale Cregan has been charged with their murders, along with the murders of father and son, David and Mark Short earlier this year.

He will be remanded in custody until a further hearing at Manchester Crown Court tomorrow.

Britain is one of the few countries in the world without a routinely armed police force.

The tragedy has brought up the ongoing debate as to whether police should carry weapons. It has seen divided views among society.

Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Sir Peter Fahy said: “We are passionate that the British style of policing is routinely unarmed policing.

“Sadly we know from the experience in America that having armed officers certainly does not mean, sadly, that police officers do not end up getting shot.”

Home Secretary Teresa May and Nick Clegg have also expressed their views against arming the police force.

The widower of PC Sharon Beshenivsky who was murdered whilst on call in 2005, and the brother of PC David Rathband, who was blinded in an attack and found dead at his home 17 months later, have both said how the police should be armed.

SW Londoner took to the streets of Wimbledon to find out: Should police officers be armed?

Gemma Talbot, 21

I think they should to protect their safety. People shouldn’t have to die when they’re just doing their job.

Jake Butler, 20

I think they should be armed because there are too many people with weapons around.

Saffron Fradley, 42

It just seems too American to me and I wonder if violence permits violence. But if someone knew had been a victim of it, then I might feel differently. I think it’d just be nicer if there were no guns, rather than more guns.

Elena Acciaioli, 28

People would be a bit more confident to know the police are armed because you never know what’s going to happen.

Ryan Islam, 24

I don’t think they should because where does the line get drawn when you start arming police officers with guns?

Avril Draudt, 66

No, I think one of the things that makes this country so wonderful is policing by consent. You never tell when a policeman is going to feel provoked and if they have arms, you can never tell what’s going to happen. We are much better off the way we are right now. I’ve lived in the States and I think it causes enormous problems to have police armed.

Mason Shine, 24

Yes, they should be armed.

Magda Vaczynska, 29

They should be armed, just for their own safety.

Jal Mina, 67

They should because there’s so much wildness in the world. If they can’t protect themselves and the other people, then innocent people get killed.

Richard Barker, 33

Personally, yes because I think the general consensus amongst people in the street is that police are easy targets. There’s a lot of animosity towards the police. With the right training, it could be a good thing, but then you have to worry about the escalation.

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