The Police Firearms Officers Association’s CEO, Mark Williams, has ignited a fresh round of discussions on the precarious situation faced by Met Police firearms officers.
Williams recently took to LinkedIn to express his dismay over the alleged bullying and intimidation of officers who have voluntarily suspended their firearms authorisations.
A Refresher: The Backstory
The development comes weeks after a substantial number of Met Police firearms officers handed in their firearms tickets, citing concerns over legal repercussions following the charging of an officer with murder.
A poll by Emergency Services News revealed a staggering 97.3% public support for the officers’ actions who handed in their weapons.
Meanwhile, the Met Police has been grappling with low morale and an exodus of officers.
According to their own data, 9,347 officers left the force in the 2022/23 financial year, the highest since 2006/07.
The situation is further compounded by a 24% increase in firearms-related incidents in London over the past year.
In his LinkedIn post, Mark Williams stated: “I am saddened tonight to have received several emails from firearms officers from various forces who have been bullied, intimidated and given ultimatums about their careers because they have suspended their firearms authorisations.”
The reactions to Williams’ post were swift and condemning.
One responder said, “If this is the case, it’s utterly shameful and those officers should be identified. The role is voluntary for a reason and no one should be pressured into carrying.”
Williams acknowledged the concerns, adding, “We are in discussions about naming and shaming. I appreciate that forces are concerned, but this is everything we stand against. Bullying and intimidation!”
Where Is The Federation?
Another individual questioned the absence of the police federation in this discourse, stating, “Where is the federation in making the essential points? Unfortunately, they appear to be completely vacant but not surprising is it?”
The Crisis Deepens
The situation remains fluid, with Mark Williams and the Police Firearms Officers Association currently in discussions on the next steps to address the alleged bullying and intimidation of officers who have suspended their firearms authorisations.
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