No plans for more armed police in East Anglia’s more rural areas
PUBLISHED: 14:32 24 May 2018
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Possible plans to arm rural officers look unlikely to be applied any time soon to forces in East Anglia.
On Thursday Simon Chesterman, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for armed policing said that routine arming of front-line officers in forces with remote rural communities “does not need to happen at the moment” but that such plans were “not off the table” for the future.
Mr Chesterman was speaking after figures revealed that there had been an increase in the ranks of the most highly trained armed officers but that more counter-terrorist specialist firearms officers were still needed.
In terms of the use of armed officers Mr Chesterman explained that police bosses had done detailed analysis to decide which parts of the country needed more armed protection.
“We can’t put an armed police officer on every street corner everywhere across the whole of the United Kingdom, so what we’ve had to do is analyse the threat, we’ve had to analyse intelligence, we’ve had to analyse crowded places, population - there are many layers of the analysis that we’ve gone in to, to understand where is best to place these officers in terms of where they’re most likely to be needed,” the deputy chief constable said.
“Of course there are communities within England and Wales where an attack is highly unlikely, where it is very unlikely that something will happen, but ultimately if something does happen we have got to be able to provide an armed response.”
A Suffolk police spokesperson said that the force was happy with its current arrangements.
“Suffolk Police constantly reviews its response times to firearms incidents and we are satisfied that we have the correct number of armed officers – and other specialist resources – to respond to the demands and threats we face at the current time,” said a spokesperson for the force.
Essex Police explained that due to the make up of their force they weren’t able to comment on plans for future arming of rural officers.
“Although the definition of ‘rural’ would be towns and villages, the way our officers are split up is into districts, meaning they cover all manner of villages/towns/cities,” said the spokesperson.
“Therefore, we don’t have any ‘rural’ officers.”