Met Police Grapple with Mounting Tensions as Majority Step Back
Amidst an escalating crisis, an overwhelming majority of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Firearms Officers have made the profound decision to withdraw from their armed responsibilities, sparking alarm and pushing London’s security measures to the brink. This unexpected move stems from a controversial charge against an officer over a shooting incident last year.
London’s Armed Response Vehicles (ARVs) aren’t exempt from this wave of reflection, with most relinquishing their firearm authorisation tickets. The few officers maintaining their armed roles are currently on annual leave.
Urgent crisis talks are underway among senior Met Police officials to ensure that the Capital remains fortified against possible firearms incidents. As a precautionary measure, the military has been readied for prompt action in case of a potential terrorist threat.
Further adding to the crisis, firearms training is under a cloud of uncertainty. Instructors, traditionally approached to assume firearms patrol roles in emergencies, have also chosen this reflection period. There’s a looming question over the continuity of training if blue card-holding instructors are in short supply.
This collective withdrawal has found echoes outside London, with many armed officers from various forces and City of London Armed Response Vehicle officers siding with their Met Police colleagues, deciding against active armed duties. This widespread step-back is directly linked to the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision to charge a Met officer for the murder of Chris Kaba during an operation last year. The Home Secretary has swiftly stepped in, expressing support for the firearms officers and initiating a comprehensive review of armed policing.
In their latest statement, the Met Police acknowledged the concerns of their officers, while assuring the public of the continued deployment of armed officers in strategic locations. They’ve also confirmed the Ministry of Defence’s readiness to provide necessary counterterrorism support. Read more