Two police officers dead: is it time to arm the British police?

Sep 19, 2012

Murder of two female officers in Manchester prompts Tebbit to call for death penalty

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THE MURDER of two female police officers in Manchester yesterday has sparked calls for British police to be armed while the veteran Tory minister Lord (Norman) Tebbit believes the death penalty should be brought back for the murder of police officers.
Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, and Pc Fiona Bone, 32, were killed yesterday after being lured into an ambush when they were called to investigate a hoax burglary. According to police, the officers were approaching a property in the Hattersley Estate in Mottram when a man reportedly fired 13 gunshots at the pair before hurling a grenade.

Shortly after the incident, Dale Cregan, 29, who had been the subject of a manhunt following the murders of a father and his son, walked into Hyde police station two miles away and was detained by police.
The women’s deaths have led to calls for police officers in Britain to be armed. Darren Rathband, the brother of Pc David Rathband, who was shot in the face and blinded by Raoul Moat in 2010 and who hanged himself earlier this year, said: "It beggars belief. How many officers need to die before the powers realise that it is the 21st century and you cannot fight crime with an outdated piece of plastic and a bit of spray?"
Michael Winner, film director and founder of the Police Memorial Trust, said: "I cannot understand it when in all other countries police are armed to fight what is clearly a different situation today. It is ridiculous."

But Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said his force believed "passionately" that police should remain unarmed, despite the tragedy, reports The Daily Telegraph. Others pointed to a 2006 a Police Federation survey of 47,000 officers, which found that 82 per cent opposed it.
Graham Stringer, an MP in Manchester, said: "Giving police officers guns is not the answer. That would put them more at risk. I think the policy is right now."
Lord Norman Tebbit has a more extreme solution. The Conservative peer writes in the The Daily Telegraph today that the death penalty should be brought back for police killers.
Arming officers would widen the gap between the police and public, he says, but the "deterrent effect of the shadow of the gallows" should be reconsidered.
"The hard fact is, as violent criminals know perfectly well, a credible threat that a man will lose his life unless he complies with a demand usually results in obedience," he writes.
But there has been little support for Tebbit's idea, with many taking to Twitter to describe it as a "knee-jerk reaction".
Bernard McEldowney, a retired police inspector, said "There are plenty of police officers murdered in the US and other countries where they do have the death penalty!"
David Smith, a professor at York University, tweeted: "Yesterday's murder of police officers is awful. It is not an excuse to re-introduce state-sponsored killing."

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These poor women were "lured into an ambush" - no amount of arming regular police could have saved them.

I would much rather have a firearm and not need it, than
need a firearm, and not have one!

I carry a loaded weapon, because, lethal force is all that the criminals understand. And, a policeman will respond to a crime scene in minutes, when seconds count.

It is very disconcerting to be shooting at someone, who shoots back! Criminals know this, fear this, so in a room
full of armed people, everyone is much more mannerly!

Clearly not. Just take a look at the USA.

No, do not routinely arm the police. Instead, get the courts to actually issue punitive sentences, deport foreign criminals regardless of what the European court says and remind the political correct do-gooders that victims have rights too.

i was a british bobby for 10 years im now a cop in Canada and all this crap about distancing from public and increasing risk is absolutly wrong and baseless. yesterday i felt very happy to have a .40 cal and 45 little friends to back me up!

There is no respect for the law or Police in the uk among the criminal class,they have the guns and if they dont they have the rights(ha ha).Give Police guns and the rights to use them and things will change.We have family in the UK and USA,so we see both sides.At the moment the UK is losing the battle against crime.

More armed Police will mean less victims !!!!!!!!!!!

Yes Sir

If they were armed they could have saved themselves or maybe they would not have been such an easy target!!!Maybe they were a target because they were not armed?????

Explain please

Simple answer - no! It is already a fact that despite many people losing their lives through contact with the police - and we can all name some of these - I believe I am right in saying that no police officer has ever been convicted of murder or manslaughter in these cases. How much worse will this get if police are routinely armed? Most police officers do a great job, but they already have powers that the rest of us do not and that will have to be enough.

Egyptians are confident the Ethiopia's Renaissance dam project is Allah’s way of adding gold , other precious stones and debris of fertile land to the water they get from Ethiopia. Engineer Hailemariam said The artificial lake behind the dam would cover 146 kms of forest land. The beautiful mountains of the area would become islands. The natural forest covering 146kms will be cleared off and the huge gold and marble reserves of the land will be buried under water.If in anyway the dam collapses all the marble and gold will be washed away out of Ethiopia not to be returned.They have been telling us that the total amount of money needed to complete the construction of the dam is about 80 billion Birr. Professionals can calculate the amount of solar or wind energy that same amount of money can generate.

Although the project could definitely bring about immeasurable environmental disaster to Ethiopia, they are labeling those who raise their voices as enemies of the state. Egypt is liking it since the fertile land, the marble and gold has a possibility of flowing to their direction which will enable the Egypt government and people get advanced technological way keeping peace and improove the trainings that are given to peace officers.

The police have killed enough people without being armed and yet none have ever been convicted. Those woman were killed by grenades so what do you give the cops, RPG's

If you go into a gun fight with a spoon, you are a walking statistic. This British facade of political correctness is transparent and laughable. England has a history washed in blood in the name of king and country. Your so called Empire was built on the pains of those whom you would call subjects. Now, when faced with domestically armed threats greater than you've ever encountered and a growing population of radical Muslims hell bent on breading Christianity out of Europe -- you plan to fail...WTF? Remember who you are, with your position comes certain responsibilities. Train and arm your police well - but make fire arm discharges immediately reviewed and make clear the penalties for abuse of power. Don't drop the ball on this one.

As sad and awful that the killing of these two police officers is, I agree fully with those who say our police should remain unarmed. I live in NY now and the gung ho trigger happy behaviour of many police here is quite disturbing. They literally get away with murder, too. They swagger around with arrogance, it does nothing to inspire confidence that you are really protected. Deep condolences to the family of the two brave women police.
Yolande M. Agble

No one is forcing them to be a police officer. If they don't want to take the risk, don't take the job. Someone will be willing to do it. Don't expect all that money and power withought any risks.

A typically ill-informed American view of the world and a country you obviously no little or nothing about. You also seem to understand very little about the Muslim faith (NO I am not Muslim but I do READ!!). This man was a rogue just as much as the MANY recent rogues you have had in your schools etc who I seem to remember mowed down far more people despite your armed police force and the number of privately held weapons. So your argument like others here has no ground to stand on. Any way we DO actually have an armed force, special teams which are called in when there is a perceived armed threat. In this case there wasn't. Perhaps it was poor judgement by senior officers in which case it will be investigated accordingly.

I have travelled extensively all over the world and nowhere that I know is the police/public relationship as good as it is generally here in the UK (except maybe Canada!). Arming our police immediately removes that. We honour our boys and girls in blue here and we mourn them greatly when they are lost like this and we applaud their sheer courage, training and commitment to maintaining our CIVILISED society. I thnak God every day that beacuse of that I don't have to wander around with a loaded firearm just to feel safe in my own country/neighbourhood/home..