Since April 2016 more than a fifth of reported gun deaths have involved the police or military
by Gun Control Network on 12-01-2017
Of the 42 gun deaths in Great Britain recorded by the Gun Control Network since April 2016, 20 were ‘civilian’ homicides, 7 were at the hands of the police and 2 took place on military bases. The others are believed to have been accidents or suicides.
Currently around 5% of police officers carry guns and 10% carry tasers.
Great Britain has a consistently low rate of gun homicide due largely to the rigorous gun laws that have been introduced since the Dunblane tragedy in 1996. However, during a period when gun homicides have been at their lowest level, it is of considerable concern that the number of fatal shootings involving police officers has significantly increased.
The Metropolitan Police Branch of the Police Federation has this week begun polling its 32,000 members over routine arming with guns or tasers. A national poll in 2006 saw 82% of officers across England and Wales voting against the idea, although those in the Metropolitan Police have tended to be more enthusiastic about firearms.
Gill Marshall-Andrews Chair of the Gun Control Network says:
“The UK is a comparatively safe country thanks to an intelligence-led police force and good laws. We know that the more weapons there are in circulation the more they are misused, and this applies to the police as well as the general public. Any sign of an increase in the police use of weapons is a cause for concern in a democratic society”.
Professor Peter Squires added:
“There is no evidence that routine arming the police makes them any safer, quite the contrary, arming may embolden officers to take greater risks and operate in a more confrontational fashion. There is international evidence suggesting an armed police force can make the public substantially less safe”.