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May: 'Now is not the time to be calling for the arming of police'

The Home Secretary has defended the practise of British police remaining unarmed.

Theresa May said; "We're clear we have a British model of policing, that is the one our police very much support. I think that routine unarmed policing that goes on our streets is right. I don't think this is the time for us to be calling for the arming of police."

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Clegg: Shouldn't rush to instant judgements over arming police

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned against any kneejerk calls to arm British police after the death of two officers in a grenade and gun attack.

Mr Clegg said: "I don't think this is the time to rush to instant judgements, this really is a time for mourning and support, of course, for the family and friends of the two women who have been killed.

"We have a long tradition in this country, which is a great tradition, of policing in the community, of the police being part of the public and the public supporting and giving their consent to the police.

He added: "I think it is the kind of thing that you need to look at very carefully and certainly not, even though I know emotions are running high, in an instant way after this terrible, terrible tragedy."

Your views on whether British police should be armed

We asked our Facebook followers whether British police should be armed after two officers were killed in Greater Manchester yesterday. Here are a few of the responses:

Against my better judgement, I think it is time for the British Police to be armed. How many more innocent people have to die to bring about this revolution. It's a great upset that we are being forced into this corner, but it's just a matter of changing times. My thoughts are with the families affected by this tragedy.

– Jack Bowden

I don't think issusing police with firearms will solve problems look at other countries with firearms hasn't done them any good its just going to intice more kids to get guns and use them. There's too much crime in the UK.

– Claire Goldie

Because of the type of world we live in ... Yes, police officers should be armed for their own safety. Those poor policewomen stood no chance when confronted by such evil!

– Marta Newman

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Darren Rathband: "I am angry some other families have now lost a daughter, sister, mother or wife"

The twin brother of Pc David Rathband, who was shot and blinded while on duty, has called for police officers to be routinely armed.

Darren Rathband, formerly of Staffordshire Police and now serving in South Australia, said 21st century policing demanded that officers carried weapons.

David Rathband, a father-of-two, was shot and left for dead by gunman Raoul Moat in July 2010.Pc Rathband was sitting unarmed in his patrol car in Newcastle's West End when Moat crept up on him, tapped on his window and blasted him twice with a sawn-off shotgun.His identical twin said:

"The events today bring it all back to the front of your mind - not that it is ever far away."It is just tragic for the families, the police officers in Manchester and across the country.

"It beggars belief. How many officers need to die before the powers realise that it is the 21st century and you cannot fight crime with an outdated piece of plastic and a bit of spray.

"No job is a routine job and there is always the potential for conflict. We don't go on jobs where people are happy to see us.

"I am angry some other families have now lost a daughter, sister, mother or wife and it makes me angry that the thin blue line is getting thinner and thinner.

"If the public knew how thin that thin blue line was, they would be ashamed."

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