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Crisis Deepens as Every Met Police Counter Terrorism Firearms Officer Refuses Armed Duties

In a deepening crisis surrounding armed policing in London, every Counter Terrorism Firearms Officer with the Metropolitan Police has stepped back from their armed duties, except for five officers who are currently on annual leave.

The situation has escalated to the extent that a significant number of Armed Response Vehicles (ARVs) in the capital have also opted for a “period of reflection” and have handed in their firearms authorization tickets, further exacerbating the crisis.

Senior Metropolitan Police commanders are now in crisis discussions to ensure that the capital maintains an adequate armed response to firearms incidents. As a precautionary measure, the military has been placed on standby to respond to any potential terrorist attacks.

Crisis Deepens As Every Met Police Counter Terrorism Firearms Officer Refuses Armed Duties

The crisis began following the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to charge a Met firearms officer with murder last week in connection with the shooting death of an unarmed man, Chris Kaba, in Streatham Hill, south London, on September 5, 2022. Kaba was driving a car linked to gun crime when the vehicle was stopped by armed officers. In the course of the operation, a firearms officer discharged his weapon, resulting in Kaba’s fatal shooting.

In response to this incident, nearly all ARV personnel have requested a “period of reflection,” which has significantly reduced the number of armed patrols on London’s streets. A source within the armed policing community stated, “There were two cars out last night instead of 15. It’ll be the same tonight… maybe.”

Even firearms instructors, who were asked to assume firearms patrol duties, have expressed their intention to take a period of reflection and have handed in their firearms authorization tickets. The situation has raised concerns about the continuation of firearms training programs.

The crisis has further deepened as the Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officer network has declined to deploy to London. Requests for Mutual Armed Response Vehicle aid from other forces have also been made.

In a show of solidarity with their Metropolitan Police colleagues, City of London Armed Response Vehicle officers have also refrained from armed duties. The situation was reportedly exacerbated when one of the Met’s Deputy Assistant Commissioners visited and questioned the readiness of the elite firearms officers. In response, every Counter Terrorism Firearms Officer on duty handed in their firearms authorization tickets.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s decision to charge a Met firearms officer with murder has ignited a national debate about armed policing and the use of force. Home Secretary Suella Braverman has expressed her support for firearms officers and initiated an urgent review into armed policing to address the crisis and the concerns it has raised within the police force and the public.

The situation remains fluid, and authorities are working diligently to restore normalcy to armed policing in London while ensuring public safety.

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