Be very afraid

Not content with every bobby on the beat carrying a tazer, coppers now want their armed units to carry military style assault weapons.

Police chiefs want the same state-of-the-art assault rifles used by our soldiers to help counter terror threat
Police want to be armed with the same state-of-the-art assault rifles that British soldiers use on the battlefield.
It would be the first time civilian armed police routinely carried the same gun as members of the Armed Services.
They are desperate for a modern firearm to help counter the threat of terrorists protected by body armour and carrying high-velocity automatic weapons.
I'm confused. Unless the police are shipping off to Afganistan to fight the Taliban, where are they finding terrorists who wear body armour and carry machine guns?

When you see them on the news arresting people for not having any ricin and stuff, the terrorists appear to be armed with little more than a flip flop and a well thumbed copy of the Koran.

Of course you do get the odd one who blows himself up with a gallon of four star and a packet of poundshop firelighters. Occasionally you even get semi professional ones who blow bigger stuff up with real explosives, but you don't see them fighting house to house urban warfare against the Met in Tower Hamlets.

How much more do you need?

Officers are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their ageing armoury and have been concerned by the discovery of heavy weapons among criminal gangs.
I'm sure the SMGs you currently use are more than enough to deal with criminal gangs. I wouldn't fancy you running around taking pot shots at druggies with British Army assault rifles. The SA80 will put a bullet through a house.

You don't want to miss with that.

The move would also enable police and soldiers to use each other’s equipment to counter an atrocity such as a Mumbai-style terrorist attack.
So far there has only been a Mumbai style terrorist attack in Mumbai, yet it keeps being trotted out each time the public need a terrorist scare.

And why would police and soldiers need to use each others equipment? Why not just use their own stuff; the police are not soldies and the army are not police.

I don't think Posse Comitatus applies in England (Not that it does in the US any longer) but what a good way to get around it. Can't use the army for civilian duties? Make your police into an army.

Senior officers are concerned that the design of their favoured weapon, the Heckler and Koch MP5, is almost half a century old. And questions remain over the high-powered G36 assault rifle, which is available to armed response units but usually kept out of view.

The G36 with underslung grenade launcher

Police and military bosses want a flexible new weapon that can accommodate all their needs, including different sights, silencers and grenade launchers.
The police version will be altered so that it cannot be set to automatic, because officers must account for every bullet they fire. The weapon must also be capable of firing non-lethal simulation bullets which contain dye and are used in training exercises.

One potential choice is the LMT Defender, a semi-automatic carbine already used by Cheshire Police and British Transport Police. Another is the Canadian-made C8 SFW carbine which is used by the SAS and some Military Police protection units.

Chief Superintendent Alistair Sutherland, who heads Scotland Yard’s CO19 firearms wing, the largest armed unit in the country, said no decision had been made.
All in all it's not quite as scary as the Daily Mail makes out. This is more an exercise in replaceing obsolete stock rather than an expansion of police armament.

However, the fact remains that the British police are indeed turning into Robocops. Also my question remains - What do we get to defend ourselves with?

Not even a pepper spray.


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