Metropolitan Police Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO) have threatened to hand in their firearms permits following the treatment of their colleague in the wake of the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba, as reported by The Telegraph.
AFOs have told their bosses that they intend to hand back their permits which entitle them to carry firearms whilst on duty, which could leave Londoners exposed to the threat of armed criminals in the capital at a time when many perceive that gun-enabled crime is increasing.
Due to the increased threat from gun totting criminals in the capital over recent years, the Met has increased the number of AFOs and armed response vehicles.
Firearms officers go through months of intensive training before they are allowed to patrol and respond to calls with firearms. Yet they receive no additional remuneration for being AFOs.
Following the shooting of Chris Kaba, the officer involved was placed on restricted ‘non-operational’ duties, which is a standard procedure following an officer-involved shooting.
But many people feel that a persistent campaign, led by some sections of the mainstream media and several MPs, resulted in the officer being suspended from duty.
24-year-old Chris Kaba – a well-known drill rap artist – died after a police pursuit ended in Streatham Hill on Monday, 5th September.
Initial reports suggest that the Audi that Kaba was driving had been linked to a firearms incident that had occurred in the previous days.
Some reports in the mainstream media have mentioned that the Audi was not registered to Mr Kaba without realising that the vast majority of firearms markers are placed on the vehicle registration mark of a car via Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) rather than being placed solely on the registered keeper.
When the Audi passed through a set of Automatic Number Plate Readers (ANPR), officers in the area were alerted to the vehicle’s presence.
Several Armed Response Vehicles (ARVs) made their way to the scene and quickly located the Audi. But when officers indicated for the Audi to stop, it failed to do so.
A pursuit ensued, ending when the fleeing Audi was boxed in.
No details have been released regarding the nature of the firearms incident that happened in the days leading up to the incident or the intelligence linked to the Audi that Kaba was driving.
It is understood that Mr Kaba had recently been released from prison after serving a custodial sentence for firearms offences.
On 13th September, the Metropolitan Police Federation released a short but strongly worded statement condemning the ‘Ill-informed commentary from those in positions of power.’
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