Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Arming the Police
The armed Police record is constantly called into question such as the Barrister who was shot 3 times whilst on a rampage on his roof or the case of Mark Dugan which sparked last year's riots. Even in the case of Raol Moatt, a clearly dangerous man who was on the run has had his death analysed by many different bodies and discussions as to whom was in the right.
Further to this is the Tomlinson case. A man with a heart condition was knocked to the ground (and killed) by a scared and desperate Police officer. What happens if you arm that officer with a pistol?
Horror stories of police officers on a power trip abusing their positions and killing people who don't deserve it like the recent case in Jamaica of a police officer who killed an eight month pregnant woman and wounded her two sisters for "resisting arrest". I'm not going to lie, it will probably happen here to.
On the flip side though, the bad guys are carrying better weapons the terrorists! They're throwing grenades, using Uzis to shoot up cars and newsagents and we're sending our cops in with nothing but an ASP and pepper spray. We can look forwards to more incidents like today, where two unarmed officers are gunned down in the street mercilessly.
In defence of some of the incidents of over zealous police fire arm use and I quote a former Sergeant in the Met;
When you see a man with a gun threatening to shoot you or others, you shoot first.
It is also worth noting, again quoting the Sergeant;
When you aim at a man there are so many variables that can effect the bullet's trajectory, wind variations, dirt in the barrel... you may be aiming for the torso and you end up striking an arm or a leg.
Of course when my Grandfather told me that he was talking about shooting at German soldiers but he said the same was true of any fire arm and that it is often mistaken that Police have shot a man dead when the officer was aiming to wound.
I'm not suggesting that we should arm our Police officers up like those pictured or for an immediate rush of armed cops on the streets but I think the time has come that we, as a nation start to think about this seriously. The streets of London are massively more dangerous than when my Grandfather patrolled Brixton, I wouldn't do their job in urban areas especially with these Postcode gang wars and the readiness of individuals to splash you over a wall knowing they'll get an easy stretch in jail and ultimate hero status as a Cop-killer. I think it is time for stiffer sentences and level the playing field and let the thin blue line be able to return fire when needed.