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Old July 20, 2005, 01:12 AM   #1
Doug.38PR
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London Police armed?

Does anyone know if the British police (bobbies) still go around armed with only a nightstick? Or do they carry handguns now.
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Old July 20, 2005, 01:31 AM   #2
BillCA
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Last I read (telegraph.co.uk) was that British police were largely unarmed but had developed a mobile response team that would arrive with weapons when called as backup. I think that's gone by the wayside as I've heard that officers in certain areas are being issued pistols almost routinely.

One unsubstantiated report says it's not working too well either. Apparently at the scene of some barricaded suspect several officers were given pistols and one officer said he spent "several minutes" trying to find the safety -- on the Glock -- he'd been given. Someone had to tell him. Good think the shooting didn't start then!
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Old July 20, 2005, 08:11 AM   #3
Apple a Day
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I recall an article last year about a few departments phasing in sidearms. I don't recall London being mentioned but much hay was made about the constabulary around Sherwood/Nottingham packing heat.
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Old July 20, 2005, 01:44 PM   #4
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The British police actually voted against routine arming of officers in the late 1990's.
Police at airports and nuclear installations are routinely armed with MP5's (semi-auto, I believe). Also, there are uniformed officeres with Armed Response Vehicles (squad cas with 2 officers and MP5's and probably 9mm sigs). They routinely patrol and assist in incidents involving guns. On top of that there is SO19, which is like a SWAT team. I'm sure there are plainclothed units who carry sidearms too, like the royal protection squad and probably drug squads etc.
The typical patrol officer has a nightstick (side handle now) and some forces have CS spray I think. Tasers are being evaluated.
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Old July 20, 2005, 02:08 PM   #5
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SO19 and the Armed Response Vehicles are one and the same.

Well, okay technically ARVs are part of SO19 which also handles other duties like firearms training.
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Old July 20, 2005, 02:10 PM   #6
luchs
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now britsh police carry,and carry HK,glock and sig handgun...
the days of the capstick are gone..
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Old July 20, 2005, 02:29 PM   #7
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Back in '94-'95, there was an article discussing a purchase of 5000 Glocks by the London Metro. Police, along with concealment holsters. Got to wonder what was under a lot of Bobby uniforms.
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Old July 22, 2005, 10:20 PM   #8
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Why do they need guns now? They've confiscated all the firearms in the country...they should be O.K. with just the cute little whistle.
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Old July 22, 2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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chorlton: I didn't know what an MP5 was - looks like it's made for firing on armed groups, is that right?

At least from what I can tell, it doesn't look as (practical) accurate as a true rifle, but looks like it is compact, and has a lot of options for firing rate (single-shot, triple-shot burst, full auto) with 9mm and 10mm ammo and 60 rounds on board.

Do you know what kind of scenario they'd use that sort of gun in? Looks like something to spray a room with.

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Old July 23, 2005, 05:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Also, there are uniformed officeres with Armed Response Vehicles (squad cas with 2 officers and MP5's and probably 9mm sigs). They routinely patrol and assist in incidents involving guns.

What incidents involving guns? When last I heard, England had banned the damned things and was now a gun-crime-free Utopia, along the lines of Chicago, NYC, and Washington D.C.! Or Brazil, or Jamaica, or Australia...


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Old July 23, 2005, 05:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Back in '94-'95, there was an article discussing a purchase of 5000 Glocks by the London Metro. Police, along with concealment holsters. Got to wonder what was under a lot of Bobby uniforms.

Heck, I spent one college semester there, just north of London, in 1992. I had no guns of my own at the time, and did not follow the issue, but it came up in conversation with housemates of mine, Martin and Julie. They told me that it was relatively little-known, but that lots of British cops carried concealed handguns, and that was largely responsible for the perception that British cops were unarmed.

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Old July 23, 2005, 03:13 PM   #12
Doug.38PR
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I was listening to a British commentator or official on FOX News the other day being interviewed about the bombings and in the course of the discussion he specifically stated that London police DO NOT carry weapons however there are special units that are issued weapons for specific needs.
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Old July 23, 2005, 03:52 PM   #13
NSO_w/_SIG
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Quote:
Do you know what kind of scenario they'd use that sort of gun in? Looks like something to spray a room with.
MP5's are not meant to replace a rifle they are generally used for shorter ranges and are ideal for clearing rooms. Almost every SWAT team in the U.S. currently have atleast a few of these. They are however very expensive.
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Old July 23, 2005, 04:21 PM   #14
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Recently had a Bobbie show up at my precinct and ask for a tour. Glad to. We ended up trading some interesting patches and hats. He was polite about looking at our guns including the AR15's but had no interest in shooting them. Still, he told hair raising stories about the criminal under ground in England having guns any time they wanted. Seems they (criminals) have a system of "rental" guns, need a gun for a stick up (?) you pay for the rental and a % of the take He said the routine Bobbie does not have guns and he didn't think they ever would no matter what happened.
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Old July 23, 2005, 06:10 PM   #15
CarbineCaleb
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I personally believe that police need guns no doubt, as well as training, both in how to use them effectively when needed, as well as when to use them legally/ethically.
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Old July 23, 2005, 11:09 PM   #16
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Carbine Not sure of your point. You mean all cops everywhere or just speaking about England?
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