Firearms officers have been praised for their professionalism and restraint after it was announced that out of 15,000 firearms-related incidents which armed police attended, officers only discharged their firearms on 15 occasions.
The news came as the National Police Chiefs’ Council Firearms Lead, Simon Chesterman, addressed the Police Federation of England and Wales during their seminar on Post Incident Procedures (PIPs).
Unlike many countries, police officers in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) are not routinely armed.
Instead, each force has highly trained firearms officers who work alongside unarmed response team officers.
Counter Terrorist Specialist Firearms Officers are only deployed during ‘active’ terrorist incidents
CC Chesterman praised the restraint shown by armed officers in dangerous situations, and the quality of the training they receive to deal with life and death incidents.
But he called for further training for all officers on gathering best evidence and dealing with trauma, to prepare them for the thorough and independent investigation that follows a Death or Serious Injury (DSI).
CC Chesterman told the seminar that he believed they were letting frontline officers down by not extending best practice, learned from armed incidents and the evolving Authorised Professional Practice (APP), into other areas of policing.
He called for every officer and Federation rep to know the APP guidance inside out, and for further training to be provided for all officers on PIPs.
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