LONDON – Authorities have announced on August 4th that an additional 600 armed officers will be deployed in London as a long-term response to the series of deadly attacks that happened across Europe. The threat level of the city remains “severe“, but it has been announced that this move made by the Metropolitan Police is not linked to any specific intelligence; Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met commissioner, said that he is sure people will understand their determination to protect London and its citizens after all that’s happening in the EU. He also added that having firearms officers who will use force to stop attackers is essential, since the majority of London police officers do not carry firearms and therefore could not protect themselves and the public if faced with an armed terrorist.
His statement and convinctions are fully shared by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor, who puts London public’s safety and security before everything else. “There is no reason to be alarmed. Our police officers are working together with our communities to prevent the possibility of an attack“, he said.
This will not be the last addition to the Police: as stated by the Police Federation chairman, Steve White, the best-case scenario is to recruit an extra 1,500 officers in two years. “Some forces are getting volunteers coming forward, but they are not always being selected because they don’t meet the criteria or they are not of sufficient quality to go through the rigorous selection and training process”, he added.
Home Offices figures for the year to March 2016 showed that the number of armed officers in England and Wales significantly dropped, but police chiefs are confident forces’ number will get back to normal over the next 18 months.