A survey carried out by 1919 Magazine has revealed that 53% of police officers in Scotland want to be routinely armed.
The news comes less than 48 hours after a police officer in Paisley sustained serious head injuries after being hit over the head with a baseball bat.
The survey result showed that 53% of police officers in Scotland ranked a firearm in the five top pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they ‘would like’.
Over the past 24 months, there has been a surge of serious attacks on emergency workers.
Several suspects were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of police officers in the last 12 months alone.
In Scotland, 40% of police officers said they had been attacked in the last 12 months, with 22% of the surveyed police officers being assaulted during the previous three months.
Apart from Northern Irelands, British police officers are not routinely armed, whereas almost every other nation routinely arms its police officers to help protect them against serious threats.
The Scottish Police Federation polled 1,698 police officers and asked them what would be their ‘top five pieces’ of PPE.
53% said that a handgun would be in their top five and 84% said that a taser would also be in their shortlist.
David Hamilton, chair of the Scottish Police Federation, told 1919:
“(The figures) show just how real the dangers are to police officers and how vulnerable they feel delivering policing in Scotland.
“The survey shows that Police Scotland’s own figures are just the tip of the iceberg. The public will be aghast that 22 per cent of our police officers have been assaulted on duty in the last three months.
“These are sons and daughters, mums and dads, each of whom has taken an oath to serve their communities and keep people safe, but communities have a duty to keep their officers safe too.”
Hamilton added: “Perhaps the biggest shock is that 53 per cent of our
officers would like access to a handgun and a further seven per cent would be prepared to be trained in it if necessary.
“This demonstrates not just the frequency of attacks but the gravity of them too.
“Officers consider knives to be the greatest risk to them and firearms are the appropriate last defence to being attacked by such lethal weapons.”
Do you think police officers in England, Scotland and Wales should be routinely armed? Let us know in the comments section below.
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