Poll in 2006 showed officers against being armed

A 2006 poll from the Police Federation found that 82 per cent of officers did not want to be routinely armed while on duty.

Similar polls conducted in 2003 and 1995 also showed that officers were overwhelmingly against being armed, according to the Police Federation.

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'No desire' to arm officers

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned against any knee-jerk call to routinely arm the police after two officers were killed in a grenade and gun attack. Their deaths have reignited calls for bobbies on the beat to be armed.