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Should the British police be armed?

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posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 10:06 AM
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Since the shooting of female police officer Pc Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford, there have been calls for the arming of police officers. Is it a good idea that the British police should be armed?
news.bbc.co.uk...

That is a link to the story, if anybody is interested.




posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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British police should never be armed. Keeping the battlefield with-out guns is a live saver as a rule in my book. But the police should have better back up in case some crazy cracker breaks the rules and uses them.

Thats my bit,
Mfourl



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by mfourl
But the police should have better back up in case some crazy cracker breaks the rules and uses them.



But back up takes on average 15minutes to attent the scene of a crime, by that time a man with a gun can easily kill many people and all the Police have is a baton and some spray...

To be honest, the British Police will end up with guns because they need to have them - like it or not. I would rather not have unarmed Police, attempt to take on armed people or go into situations without the right support and equipment.

It's not the Bill kids.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 12:43 PM
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I'm wondering Odium. Do police officers get body armour? Y'know just your normal bobby? And do you think that a gun would would have prevented the death of Sharon Beshenivsky? Would it not give the criminals more "excuse" to fire at a police officer?
Just wondering is all.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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British police aren't armed?
Then what good are they?

I think not only should police be armed, but citizens as well. Here in America cops pack heat.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by MacDonagh
I'm wondering Odium. Do police officers get body armour?


Not all of them which is a problem in itself. If they get hit, they are in trouble but then it would probably be worse for them to go South Korean Style and be like an extra from Star Wars.


Originally posted by MacDonagh
And do you think that a gun would would have prevented the death of Sharon Beshenivsky?


Depends on how it was used.


Originally posted by MacDonagh
Would it not give the criminals more "excuse" to fire at a police officer?


Thing is, if they are willing to pull the gun them having one won't stop that. What can happen is, they are able to get the person into a situation where the Police officer is the one pointing the gun at them and they do not have it out or into a situation where their own life is at risk to hopefully force them into submission. It is what most armed Police do.

I really think, we need them in the boots of the cars along with decent bulletproof gear. Not from average use, but if they are going into a house I'd rather they were armed and had the best equipment so they don't run the risk of being killed themselves.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 01:03 PM
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I was wondering about a couple of your points. What is "South Korean Style"? Is that like high kinetic jumping and kung fu? Also, why is there guns flooding into Britain? Are they flooding into Britain or is this just a rare incident? Also would firearms training throughout the whole police force cost a bit of money?

Hell, in my opinion, it takes a lot of courage to be a policeman/woman without a gun in this current climate. But it's getting more and more dangerous this age.
Maybe it's time for a couple of things to change.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 02:51 PM
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Your right, it is time for change. But I personally dont think it would be a right change for the British police to cary guns. I would like to think there are other options available than arming the police.

Just my bit,
mfourl



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 03:56 PM
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What would you suggest to change?


Tuk

posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by Amethyst
British police aren't armed?
Then what good are they?

I think not only should police be armed, but citizens as well. Here in America cops pack heat.


That's why US has more deaths by gun than any other country in the world.
Or then it's just something in their minds, i don't know...

If british police get's guns, criminals will have to get (more) guns too.
Then there will be more deaths in both sides.

And if they go that way, then in the end situation might be like the situation in the US, everyone has lot's of guns, and thousands of people are shot dead each year...



[edit on 20-11-2005 by Tuk]



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 04:27 PM
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Let's not turn this into 'Should Gun's be Legal in the United Kingdom' debate. If you wish to get involved in that go here.

And Tuk, the Police having guns doesn't account for the 16,000 suicides a year. Shockingly...in fact, the Police only make up for about 350 deaths by firearm in the United State's - more people are killed by drinking driving in the U.K. I believe or even in normal road accidents than by Police Officers.

MacDonagh, South Korean Police wear full Storm-Trooper outfits and tend to beat people in the street. It's a lovely 'Democratic Brainwashing Police State'. :-)

As for training? Yeah, but then if the Government followed my tax plan the whole of the U.K. would be a lot better off but they never listen.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 08:16 PM
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Having spent almost 4 years living in London I often duscussed this subject with other non British living over there. First off for those who havent been to the U.K. Some officers are Armed (And if they're packin, they are packin serious firepower) but the majority aren't armed.

I've always thought having unarmed police was something to be very proud of, such a hallmark of a civilised society. I do however strongly believe that police will in the next 10 years be armed, unfortunately it is inevitable. Also they should lose those stupid hats.

On another note when I was living in Elephant and Castle, south London some dude got shot 4 times down my street. He crawled a few hundred meters and ended up at my doorstep, blood was all over the place. I was in my back garden drinking a beer with a friend. I had to run to the Off License to grab something. I opened the door and there were approx. 15 cops outside with the guy lying on my sidewalk. I couldn't leave my flat for 2-3 hours as the cops had to do forensics. Apperantly the guy was capped because of a drug deal, he lived.



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 09:05 AM
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I hope never to see a routinely armed UK police.

Armed response units all across the country available at a moments notice is how things are now and seem to me to be the best compromise.
I hope it stays that way (and with the UK police apparantly 80% opposed on this issue many of them seem to think so too).


A 2003 Police Federation survey found 80 per cent of officers opposed, a similar figure to that found in the Federation's previous survey in 1995. However, 80 per cent of officers wanted more officers trained to use firearms.

www.politics.co.uk...$2120136.htm

I do not think arming the police will do anymore than help create a situation where more and more guns are introduced leading to an enormous acceleration in gun crime here (which, no matter what the % game players claim, is relatively low here, as is serious crime generally).

It may well be too late for the USA but we in the UK have not reached that 'critical mass' where this need be introduced.
I hope we never get to that point.

The facts are these -


36 officers murdered in England, Scotland and Wales since 1985 (excluding Northern Ireland)

news.bbc.co.uk...

3 were beaten to death
10 were stabbed to death
11 were shot to death
12 were run over and killed by a motor vehicle
(thanks to Leveller for the breakdown figs)

So, 11 killings in 20yrs by the gun. That is what we are discussing.

I know Americans have trouble accepting this but there you are, in a society with an unarmed Police we have had just 11 cops killed by those criminals some of you seem determined to believe will react to this situation by being armed themselves.
Barring the smallest minority of individuals and instances the figures show you could not be more wrong.

In Northern Ireland there was a completely and routinely armed Police (with a heck of a lot more justification).
The cop's guns themselves became a significant source of illegal firearms.

It is horrible for those families and individuals concerned (some of whom may - or may not - have survived had they been armed) but when one looks at this sensibly and 'overall' (as our government must) it is obviously and certainly no 'cure all' answer for us here, it creates IMO at least as many problems as it solves and at the end of the day we simply do not have the 'need'.




[edit on 21-11-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 10:31 AM
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Dont know what country it is, but one of my professors told me that where he traveled, nobody stole anything. Which brings me to the conclusion that he United States should mabybe be like this. I can understand why not, but in other countries, everyone is trusted not to steal. If you do, however, steal anything, you get your right hand cut off. British police being armed? I do believe, now, that with all of the stuff in the world being messed up, yes. I would have to believe that they be allowed to carry armed weapons. They used to only carry sticks (something that we call an Asp over here). But people in England seem to be more trusting than people in America.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by mfourl
Your right, it is time for change. But I personally dont think it would be a right change for the British police to cary guns. I would like to think there are other options available than arming the police.


You're right, they can just keep being killed in one sided gun battles, that's one option.

Anyway, how can police officers be killed with guns, I thought parliament passed a law banning them. Perhaps they could pass another one to protect police officers fom being shot.

[edit on 24-11-2005 by Winchester Ranger T]



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 07:20 AM
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Winchester, I think you miss the point that the level of violence in the UK is not comparable to that of the US. I am not saying that it is generally lower, but with a different emphasis. Sminkeypinkeys numbers cleaarly state that gun related deaths are extremely untypical with the UK police and a big factor in this is that the police decided themselves to deescalate by not "packing heat" - and that obviously worked.

A gun doesnt protect a police officer from being killed. It only gives him/her the means to fend of a deadly assailant - but only under the right circumstances and not reliably. Carrying NO gun however is a clear sign of an "armistice", it seems to be an invisible line that all participants agreed not to cross (with the usual statistical uncertainty). I mean 35 killed police officers by ANY means in 20 years is a comparably very good ratio. I am sure that the numbers in the USA are higher, even if set into percentage relation. If they can keep that up, that isnt something stupid as you are implying. It is an admirable civilian achievement, and I would be happy if the police in my country could do the same.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by Lonestar24the police decided themselves to deescalate by not "packing heat" - and that obviously worked.


Not for the dead police woman it didn't.


A gun doesnt protect a police officer from being killed. It only gives him/her the means to fend of a deadly assailant


Which is the same thing


Carrying NO gun however is a clear sign of an "armistice", it seems to be an invisible line that all participants agreed not to cross (with the usual statistical uncertainty)


With gun crime in Britain up by 146% only the police appear to be honoring the Armistice.


I mean 35 killed police officers by ANY means in 20 years is a comparably very good ratio. I am sure that the numbers in the USA are higher, even if set into percentage relation


Not having ever had a house fire is not an indication that you should never purchase a fire extinguisher. The rates of police homicide in Japan are effectively zero and handguns are similarly banned as in the UK, but the Japanese still have the good sense to arm their officers.

You are not dealing with a rational analysis of officer safety in the UK, you are dealing with anti-gun hysteria which is almost excusable in an ignorant population but not so with the primary arm of law enforcement.



[edit on 25-11-2005 by Winchester Ranger T]



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by Winchester Ranger T

Originally posted by Lonestar24the police decided themselves to deescalate by not "packing heat" - and that obviously worked.


Not for the dead police woman it didn't.


One cannot disprove a general thesis with a singular event.



A gun doesnt protect a police officer from being killed. It only gives him/her the means to fend of a deadly assailant


Which is the same thing


No it isnt. You may also have quoted my whole sentence. A gun NEVER is protection, a gun is a tool for escalation with a one-sided positive outcome. A gun doesnt protect you, its your own deciision and actions that do that. PROTECTION however is to establish procedures that prevent the cause of the danger.


I mean 35 killed police officers by ANY means in 20 years is a comparably very good ratio. I am sure that the numbers in the USA are higher, even if set into percentage relation



Not having ever had a house fire is not an indication that you should never purchase a fire extinguisher. The rates of police homicide in Japan are effectively zero and handguns are similarly banned as in the UK, but the Japanese still have the good sense to arm their officers.

You are not dealing with a rational analysis of officer safety in the UK, you are dealing with anti-gun hysteria which is almost excusable in an ignorant population but not so with the primary arm of law enforcement.


I never said that UK cops should not be armed, I said it would be desirable if they can keep up their current system or go for a "modest" armament. And to follow your fire analogy: A fire extinguisher is a reaction. Trying to prevent possible causes for fire is an action. A reaction always is a defensive act, if you are acting defensively it means that you let others impose their rules upon you. Ok, this is rather a philosophic POV, but if I may quote the BBC link: in 175 years 4000 police officers died in the line of duty. Thats 22.8 dead per year on average. So if the number of policemen/women that died in 20 years is the statistical average for 2 years, personally I do not see any urgent need for a rearming.

Guns do not kill people, but increasing hostility would.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by Winchester Ranger T
The rates of police homicide in Japan are effectively zero and handguns are similarly banned as in the UK, but the Japanese still have the good sense to arm their officers.


- Yet the Japanese spend hours training their officers specifically not to use their gun (drawing the gun on a fleeing suspect is for instance illegal there).


One poster on police walls orders: 'Don't take it out of the holster, don't put your finger on the trigger, don't point it at people'. Shooting at a fleeing felon is unlawful under any circumstance. Police and civilians can both be punished for any act of self-defense in which the harm caused was greater than the harm averted.

www.guncite.com...

But I'd like to see the actual figures for this Winchester.
How does the British 36 in 20yrs compare?

......and just how does that compare internationally?
(cos I suspect the UK and Japanese 'rates' are both very much at the bottom end of the spectrum)


You are not dealing with a rational analysis of officer safety in the UK, you are dealing with anti-gun hysteria which is almost excusable in an ignorant population but not so with the primary arm of law enforcement.


- ......and that's where this just gets surreal.

Apparently people like myself are "anti-gun hysterical" (despite being informed by the relevant statistics) and because our cops are against it too, they are what?
Just insane for not wanting (more) guns?

Believe it or not I really don't mean this to flame
but
IMO 'we' are not dealing with a rational analysis, 'we' are clearly dealing with 'gun fan', pro-gun types who aren't too fussed about the reality here and who will selectively use extremes (and Japan, for a variety of pretty unique reasons, is an extraordinarily unusual country to pick to use as ones' comparator) to bash the unusually good situation in the UK.

36 in 20yrs.
How does the US compare, hmmmm?


[edit on 25-11-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
- Yet the Japanese spend hours training their officers specifically not to use their gun (drawing the gun on a fleeing suspect is for instance illegal there).


I assume you mean firing and not drawing, and you make that statement as if it's legal somewhere else - it's certainly not legal in the US unless the fleeing felon poses an immediate danger to others.



- ......and that's where this just gets surreal.


I see nothing surreal about discussing the inadequacy of police equipment when rates of gun violence in the UK are rising and an officer has recently been killed. The Genie is already out of the bottle, you need to deal with that fact. The flood of guns from impoverished eastern european nations continues unabated, you can expect continued increases in shootings - you read it here first.


Apparently people like myself are anti-gun hysterical (despite being informed by the relevant statistics) and our cops are, what?
Just crazy for not wanting guns?


The first statement can be put down to a reasonable self analysis, the second is a factual observation.


IMO 'we' are not dealing with a rational analysis, 'we' are clearly dealing with pro-gun types who really couldn't care less about the reality here and who will selectively use extremes (and Japan, for a variety of pretty unique reasons, is an extraordinarily unusual country to pick to use as ones' comparator) to bash the unusually good situation in the UK.


On the contrary you are dealing with the analysis of a nation that has "been there" and "done that" when it comes to dealing with increasing levels of gun crime especially in inner cities. Japan is a directly relevant example of a country that has imposed a blanket ban on handgun ownership but still has the good sense to arm its police force, Australia is almost there, but I cannot think of any others that fit this representative profile. When you add the now obvious risk of a Muslim terrorist uprising in the UK, your position begins to look surreal.

The mentality at work here is very simple. You think that society as a whole is better served if it is unarmed, even if that means that a few women have to be raped, unarmed police officers shot, and old age pensioners murdered in their homes by way of the better good. I believe that society is better served if individuals have the means and legal right to take responsibility for their own protection and the protection of their families, even if that means that levels of gun related deaths rise because of the inevitable abuse that accompanies it. I believe that society as a whole is improved when you empower and encourage citizens to stop abhorent behaviour in its tracks and not turn a blind eye or rely on a grossly apathetic judicial system.

The bottom line is to take a long hard look at how the UK is sliding into the cess pool, and take a long hard look at why that is. Perhaps an armed citizenry isn't the way forward for you, perhaps you're right to be afraid of allowing citizens to feel empowered to fight crime as opposed to dialing 999 and waiting to die. But you need to do something about your current situation, and fast, because taking cold comfort from lower levels of gun related homicides will not help you address the bigger issue of violent behaviour in your nation.



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