Police forces double number of armed officers to fight terror

Armed police Credit: ITV News Anglia

Extra police officers across our region will carry guns as part of the response to the ongoing threat of violence and terror.

Specially trained officers from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire will boost the number of armed officers in the counties by 50%.

The police say the increase is not in relation to any specific terrorist threat, and that the decision to boost numbers was taken last year.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Fullwood said: “The tragic incidents in Manchester and London show us how important it is that we have the appropriate number of firearms trained officers.

“Last year we carried out a review of the tri-force armed policing unit and found that the number of firearms officers across the three forces were sufficient to meet our day-to-day demand, but we felt it would be beneficial to increase the number of officers who are firearms trained in order to provide the best possible levels of protection and security across the three counties.

“Since then we have carried out a series of intensive training courses to ensure we have the very best calibre of people in this high pressured role and from today there are now an additional 50 per cent firearms trained officers available in the tri-force area.

“The terrible and tragic terror attacks in Manchester and London are a timely reminder of just why this increase is needed, although I’d like to stress that this increase has been planned for several months and is not in relation to any specific intelligence."

Armed police on patrol. Credit: ITV News Anglia