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#1
Recently when I was visiting my dad in London I noticed something strange in my old neighborhood. The police have started carrying guns.
For Americans and users from other countries with fully armed police forces this might not be too suprising but in Britain, armed police are only deployed when someone reports an incident involving a weapon.
As it turns out, these armed police officers weren't responding to any incident, they were just out on the beat. This is apparently due to a new trial scheme that involves armed police units patroling 'problem areas' to make people feel safe from gang violence. I don't know exactly what the extent of this trial is or what will happen if it is deemed sucessful but I know that I personally am not comfortable with any man walking the streets with a gun, policeman or not. To me it just creates more tension and creates more opportunities for someone to get shot.
From what I can gather though, this is not something just confined to the UK. All across the world it seems police forces are upping their armament so to speak. For example, I've heard and read about police forces in America using incresing amounts of military-like equipment such as APCs in police operations and increasing the number of officers trained in the use of automatic weapons.

Now don't get me wrong, there are situations where it helps to have armed police what with the state of the world, but deploying them in such a way as they have been deployed in London (and maybe elsewhere for all I know) seems counterproductive. Gun crime and gang violence are a very serious problem and people are very concerned about it but I can't see how putting armed officers on the streets helps in the slightest. It doesn't affect the ability of gangs to aquire firearms, it doesn't seem to prevent any gang violence and if anything it achieves the opposite of reassuring people, especially in an area like Brixton where I saw these armed officers and where relations between residents and the police aren't exactly peachy because of past and present incidents and failings.

So people, what do you think about all this?

EDIT: This is the only article I can find on this trial scheme by the way.
"We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations, but to our fellow men within the human community."
- H.I.M Haile Selassie I
Last edited by IDread at Dec 15, 2009,
#3
Better if the police officers can defend themselves or give other people a reason not to fuck with them.
No means maybe
#4
Hopefully this isn't an easier decision for them because of the "anti-terror" climate.
#5
i'm american...armed police officers never bothered me. i suppose there's the .000001 percent of your average police force who would use a firearm to incite violence, but for the most part I tend to look at my local police as good people who are just out to protect people and pay their bills. guns are only scary in the hands of scary people.
#6
Quote by pilgrimevan
Better if the police officers can defend themselves or give other people a reason not to fuck with them.

In Ireland our police are unarmed, no guns at all. The only cops with guns are in special units or are certain plainclothes detectives (gangland units and drug squad).
Yet despite the fact they they are unarmed they don't experience nearly the levels of violence other countries experience. Possibly a coincidence of course.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#7
Quote by pilgrimevan
Better if the police officers can defend themselves or give other people a reason not to fuck with them.

In the UK, we've largely grown-out of that policy.
#8
Quote by flame843
i'm american...armed police officers never bothered me. i suppose there's the .000001 percent of your average police force who would use a firearm to incite violence, but for the most part I tend to look at my local police as good people who are just out to protect people and pay their bills. guns are only scary in the hands of scary people.


This.

Also if you are afraid of the armed police you are probably doing something wrong.
Because deep down, I know you want to:

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#9
Quote by pilgrimevan
Better if the police officers can defend themselves or give other people a reason not to fuck with them.


Thats the thing though (at least in Britain) attacks on police are rare. Obviously it happens but when it does it isn't usually gangsters with guns, its a drunk guy with a kitchen knife or some wannabe rudeboy throwing rocks. Surely the baton, stab vest and CS gas the police already have are adequate to deal with that? And even when they are faced with criminals armed with guns, the armed responce units are only a radio call away and they are well trained enough to avoid confrontation until they arrive.
"We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations, but to our fellow men within the human community."
- H.I.M Haile Selassie I
Last edited by IDread at Dec 14, 2009,
#11
Quote by Ur all $h1t
In Ireland our police are unarmed, no guns at all. The only cops with guns are in special units or are certain plainclothes detectives (gangland units and drug squad).
Yet despite the fact they they are unarmed they don't experience nearly the levels of violence other countries experience. Possibly a coincidence of course.


Is it hard to get a gun over there?
No means maybe
#12
Quote by IDread
Thats the thing though (at least in Britain) attacks on police are rare. Obviously it happens but when it does it isn't usually gangsters with guns, its a drunk guy with a kitchen knife or some wannabe rudeboy throwing rocks. Surely the baton, stab vest and CS gas the police already have are adequate to deal with that? And even when they are faced with criminals armed with guns, the armed responce units are only a radio call away and they are well trained enough to avoid confrontation until they arrive.

You're telling me that a baton is adequate protection against "gangsters with guns"...
#13
Quote by Mr. B.
This.

Also if you are afraid of the armed police you are probably doing something wrong.


The legal system is so corrupt and ****ed up that at any moment you can be found to be doing something against at least one of the ridiculous amount of laws.
#14
Quote by Mr. B.
This.

Also if you are afraid of the armed police you are probably doing something wrong.

They're fallible human beings too ...
Quote by captaincrunk
Or maybe you're just babies who need to grow into it? There's nothing really wrong with an armed police force.

... as many incidents in the US (and yes, some in the UK) have taught us.
#15
Well deterrence policy worked for the US and the USSR, of course if it didnt work we would never be here. Personally I don't mind the police being armed, as I live in Mexico were the drug wars and gang activity have escalated immensely. Gives them a chance to defend themselves or responds quickly to armed conflicts so.
#16
Quote by pilgrimevan
Is it hard to get a gun over there?

Not particularly, my family has one (pest control on the farm). You just need to get a license.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#17
Cops carrying guns is not such a bad thing really.It's not like they are gonna be pulling their guns out for minor offences.
#18
Better they have it and not need it than need it and not have it. They're trained adequately enough not to fire unless absolutely necessary, they don't work like the movies...I think you'll be fine.
#19
Quote by blue_strat
They're fallible human beings too ...
... as many incidents in the US (and yes, some in the UK) have taught us.

I want an example of where a cop having weapons caused unnecessary harm to someone?
#20
Quote by john2009
Cops carrying guns is not such a bad thing really.It's not like they are gonna be pulling their guns out for minor offences.


I would agree with you if I hadn't once been CS gassed for taking out my wallet to show the police my ID.

Quote by captaincrunk
I want an example of where a cop having weapons caused unnecessary harm to someone?


Its not a specific example but it is a fact that most police officers who are killed by firearms are killed by the gun that had been in their hand but moments before.
"We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations, but to our fellow men within the human community."
- H.I.M Haile Selassie I
Last edited by IDread at Dec 14, 2009,
#23
Quote by Ur all $h1t
Not particularly, my family has one (pest control on the farm). You just need to get a license.


Well I guess us Americans are just homicidal maniacs

Most Americans don't remember the significance of guns, to most, it's just something that goes bang.
No means maybe
#24
Quote by captaincrunk
What does CS stand for? I'm not familiar with it.


I don't know what it stands for but its like pepper spray and it stings like a motherfucker.
"We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations, but to our fellow men within the human community."
- H.I.M Haile Selassie I
#25
We are all virtually on the brink of a police state with one bad "false-flag terrorist attack" or any other man-made disaster here in America.

I don't know too much about the state of Britain but, from what I've heard you guys are screwed. Police at no time should be patrolling the streets in that manner that goes for military personnel as well. Really we live in some ****ed up times.
#26
Quote by TimboSlice
Better they have it and not need it than need it and not have it. They're trained adequately enough not to fire unless absolutely necessary, they don't work like the movies...I think you'll be fine.

You say this like there haven't been numerous cases of police ****ing up and shooting innocent people dead.
I understand that by not having police armed and avoiding them killing innocent people (along with the other advantages) you run the risk of them getting shot themselves, but the fact is that those risks aren't equal. An innocent bystander is just that, innocent. A member of the police force signs up for that job knowing that there is a risk, and being prepared for that risk. An innocent man who is shot mistaking made no such decision, and the fact that a member of the police force killed him puts a portion of the blame on everyone as the police force is an instrument of the state. The state shouldn't kill people, mistakenly or otherwise.
We still have armed response units, and detectives dealing with gangland crime or other areas (such as paramilitary organisations) where gun crime is an issue do have guns, but they are a minority of police officers. Even at that those armed response units still make mistakes and shoot people who did not need to be shot.

The cops in my town have no need for guns, and I'm very glad that they don't have them.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#27
Quote by IDread
Its not a specific example but it is a fact that most police officers who are killed by firearms are killed by the gun that had been in their hand but moments before.

I'm not so sure that's true. If it is, they need to learn how to not have a gun taken. And those same police officers would get their ass kicked regardless.

Quote by blue_strat

The National Guard is not the police.
#28
Quote by captaincrunk
The National Guard is not the police.

In practical terms, I don't think that made a whole lot of difference.
#29
Quote by Ur all $h1t
You say this like there haven't been numerous cases of police ****ing up and shooting innocent people dead.
I understand that by not having police armed and avoiding them killing innocent people (along with the other advantages) you run the risk of them getting shot themselves, but the fact is that those risks aren't equal. An innocent bystander is just that, innocent. A member of the police force signs up for that job knowing that there is a risk, and being prepared for that risk. An innocent man who is shot mistaking made no such decision, and the fact that a member of the police force killed him puts a portion of the blame on everyone as the police force is an instrument of the state. The state shouldn't kill people, mistakenly or otherwise.
We still have armed response units, and detectives dealing with gangland crime or other areas (such as paramilitary organisations) where gun crime is an issue do have guns, but they are a minority of police officers. Even at that those armed response units still make mistakes and shoot people who did not need to be shot.

The cops in my town have no need for guns, and I'm very glad that they don't have them.

I can say that the legalization of drugs would change the game in america. Most small time gun crime is related directly to drug crime.
#30
Quote by captaincrunk
I want an example of where a cop having weapons caused unnecessary harm to someone?

The names Andrew Hanlon, Amadou Diallo and Jean Charles de Menezes spring to mind immediately.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#31
Quote by Ur all $h1t
The names Andrew Hanlon, Amadou Diallo and Jean Charles de Menezes spring to mind immediately.

Those names mean nothing to me. Regardless, I bet they'd do the same if they weren't police officers?
#32
Quote by captaincrunk
I'm not so sure that's true. If it is, they need to learn how to not have a gun taken. And those same police officers would get their ass kicked regardless.


Look it up. And it isn't actually that hard to wrestle a gun from a man believe it or not. Its risky and dangerous and normally someone gets shot but its not hard.


Quote by captaincrunk
The National Guard is not the police.


If you don't want to take that one then take this one.

The police can have some spectacular cock ups but when they shoot an innocent man seven times in the head in a crowded tube train you know something is wrong.
"We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations, but to our fellow men within the human community."
- H.I.M Haile Selassie I
Last edited by IDread at Dec 15, 2009,
#33
Quote by captaincrunk
Those names mean nothing to me. Regardless, I bet they'd do the same if they weren't police officers?

They weren't police officers, they were some innocent people killed because police officers aren't infallible. They're just a drop in the ocean.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#34
Quote by captaincrunk
I want an example of where a cop having weapons caused unnecessary harm to someone?

Ever heard the word "taser"?
#35
Quote by IDread
Look it up.


If you don't want to take that one then take this one.

The police can have some spectacular cock ups but when they shoot an innocent man seven times in the head in a crowded tube train you know something is wrong.

I hope they were prosecuted for murder. They should be. That's why we have checks on our police forces. I also think they could have easily stunned him instead. Therefore that's just horrible policing.
#36
Quote by Ur all $h1t
You say this like there haven't been numerous cases of police ****ing up and shooting innocent people dead.
I understand that by not having police armed and avoiding them killing innocent people (along with the other advantages) you run the risk of them getting shot themselves, but the fact is that those risks aren't equal. An innocent bystander is just that, innocent. A member of the police force signs up for that job knowing that there is a risk, and being prepared for that risk. An innocent man who is shot mistaking made no such decision, and the fact that a member of the police force killed him puts a portion of the blame on everyone as the police force is an instrument of the state. The state shouldn't kill people, mistakenly or otherwise.
We still have armed response units, and detectives dealing with gangland crime or other areas (such as paramilitary organisations) where gun crime is an issue do have guns, but they are a minority of police officers. Even at that those armed response units still make mistakes and shoot people who did not need to be shot.

The cops in my town have no need for guns, and I'm very glad that they don't have them.

I do say it like that because it's not part of an officer's expectations to shoot an innocent bystander. People have cars, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. which kill far more innocent people per day than police do annually. If you want to give the whole "they know the risks" speech, everybody in the world should be agoraphobic.
And it's not just the officer's life jeopardized by lacking a weapon, the innocent bystanders for whom you're standing up are endangered as well. Better to have somebody at least TRYING to fight on the side of good, no? Bad guys can kill bad guys accidentally too.
Police are public servants, they act in the best interest of the community, and if the local police force wants to start toting firearms I say it's for the best.

Slicedit: I sound like somebody who's pro-violence or pro-gun possession or even Republican. I'm a Liberal Canadian citizen, I don't think civilian firearm possession should be legal, concealed or otherwise, because it just doesn't make sense. For police on the other hand, guns are (unfortunately) an occupational requirement.
Last edited by TimboSlice at Dec 15, 2009,
#38
Quote by captaincrunk
I hope they were prosecuted for murder. They should be. That's why we have checks on our police forces. I also think they could have easily stunned him instead. Therefore that's just horrible policing.

Which could have been a lot less horrible if they hadn't been equipped with guns.
#39
Quote by captaincrunk
I hope they were prosecuted for murder. They should be. That's why we have checks on our police forces. I also think they could have easily stunned him instead. Therefore that's just horrible policing.


I never said it wasn't anything less than the worst policing I've ever heard about but no, they weren't prosecuted for anything and no, they couldn't have easily stunned him instead unfortunately since they were packing assault rifles instead of tasers.

In fact, now I think about it, those same officers could be the ones I saw in Brixton. They are still in their line of work and they are still part of the CO19 firearms unit that is currently patroling the streets.
"We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations, but to our fellow men within the human community."
- H.I.M Haile Selassie I
Last edited by IDread at Dec 15, 2009,
#40
What are you so worried about, if anything you should feel safer.....mabey, they might instead of tazing 83 year old grandmothers for resisting arrest, they might just shoot you in the leg and claim your a terrorist. Who the hell knows, cops with guns, what could possibly go wrong? Kill a few dangers to society? Mabey protect the cops better, cause you know, a baton works extremly well against a gun, especially from a distance. He could like throw the baton at the guy with the gun and mabey knock it out of his hand before he fires it 7 times.

Armed Peace Officers(which is what they are) is not a bad thing, you just dont like guns cause you think their evil and that guns purposly kill people or some liberal BS like that.

I apoligize for ranting at you. I'm having a bad day.