It has emerged that Police in Britain are carrying guns to tens of thousands of burglaries, car crashes and minor incidents each year, prompting fears of an ‘Americanised’ Police force.
Armed officers are being dispatched to domestic incidents and other routine jobs by most forces across England and Wales,
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The Telegraph reports:
One force alone – Thames Valley police in southeast England – deployed officers with handguns to 8,709 routine jobs last year.
These call-outs make up the majority of work for many of the country’s 6,000 armed officers, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Times.
In Britain, authorised officers carry their handguns holstered on routine jobs, while heavy-duty weaponry, such as sub-machine guns or carbines, are locked in their vehicles.
The revelation last year that armed officers were being dispatched to minor disturbances in Scotland is reported to have caused widespread dismay.
The policy is now under review, following criticism leveled at Police Scotland, the national police force, that it failed to properly inform the public.
Gun control groups have said that armed police attending routine incidents undermined community trust, but senior officers said it was necessary to avoid armed officers being left idle.