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Armed Copwatch

Armed police patrols on foot, motorbike and by car in London’s gun crime hotspots (see PN 2515) were suspended by the commissioner of the Metropolitan police at the end of October after criticism from local community leaders and the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) about the lack of consultation. Officers from the CO19 firearms unit had previously announced that the patrols were becoming routine.
Sir Paul Stephenson said: “There was a failure to recognise the significance of this tactic by officers. They were well meaning, but didn’t recognise the potential view that this represented a step change in routine policing.”
Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the MPA, said: “The real worry is that CO19 is a law unto itself and can make this sort of decision…. The commissioner said that they were ‘desensitised’, which means that retraining is urgently needed.”

Topics: Police