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One in three UK officers want all police to carry guns, survey finds – The Guardian

Support for a fully armed police service has grown among the rank and file as forces confront an unprecedented terrorist threat, according to a staff survey.

One in three (34%) respondents to a poll by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) were in favour of routine arming of all officers. The proportion was up from less than a quarter (23%) in the previous survey on the issue in 2006. However, two thirds did not support routine arming of all officers.

Most police officers in the UK are unarmed, setting the country apart from many others.

The PFEW polled its membership to gauge views on a topic which has come under the spotlight again after a wave of terrorist attacks.

Analysis of 32,366 responses showed 8.9% believed all officers should receive appropriate training and be armed at all times, whether on or off duty. Another 25.2% backed arming all officers but only when on duty.

These figures compare with 4.9% and 18.5% respectively in the previous survey on the issue.

In the latest poll, the most common response (42.5%) was that firearms should not be issued to all officers but more should receive training and be armed as and when necessary.

Others said all officers should be trained and be given firearms as and when necessary (16.8%), or that the status quo was about right (6.2%).

One in three UK officers want all police to carry guns, survey finds – The Guardian

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