Should Police Officers Carry Guns at All Time?

Campaigners argue whether or not police officers should start carrying guns with them at all times. The debate was fuelled after the recent tragic event with two policemen from Manchester who were injured fatally while checking a house for burglary. Whether or not police officers should carry guns with them routinely is a question argued strongly by both sides.

Recent debates have arisen among campaigners after two policemen got killed while on duty in Manchester. The debate is now whether or not police officers should routinely carry guns with them while on duty. The two policemen, Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, are said to be killed the other day after they responded to a call about a burglary. When the officers went to the house, Dale Cregan came out firing and throwing a grenade which fatally injured the policemen.

Since the tragic incident, many have started arguing that officers across the entire UK should carry guns with them while performing their duties. Darren Rathband, the brother of late police officer David Rathband, stated that it is ‘beggar’s belief’ that policemen across the UK remain unarmed. Darren Rathband took his life after being blinded on duty. It is the 21st century and policemen should not be expected to fight crime with just a piece of plastic and a spray. No more police officers should die before actions are taken to prevent this and allow them to carry guns with them even for their own protection when circumstances require.

Other officials who supported the campaigners for policemen to carry guns include Michael Winner, founder of the Police Memorial Trust, and Toy Rayner, former chairman of Essex Police Federation. The former chairman of Tory, Lord Tebbit, went even further. He wrote to the Daily Telegraph by saying that the government should bring back the death penalty for those who kill police officers. According to him, ‘it is time we thought again about the deterrent effect of the shadow of the gallows.”

However, the other side of the debate called for no reactionary changes in the wake of the recent tragic events. As stated by the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, his force is “passionate that the British style of policing is routinely unarmed policing.” He alseo added that by judging the experience in America, even if police officers wear guns with them at all times performing their duties, sadly does not mean that they do not get shot. According to him, the fact that police officers will carry a gun with them at all times cannot guarantee the safety of their lives. A survey conducted in 2006 revealed that out of the 47,000 officers questioned, 87% of them actually opposed the idea of carrying a gun with them routinely. The former deputy assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan police, Brian Paddick, stated that to aim at all police officers in England, Scotland and Wales would turn out to be ‘cost-prohibitive in a time of austerity’.

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