Updated: Dec 3, 2018
British police are taking measures to confront their growing crime problem. As it turns out, severely restricting gun ownership in their country has not prevented violent crime. They’ve been confronted with the reality that violent people are not violent because they have access to a weapon, and that violent people will simply find or use a different weapon if one is taken away. They’ve also had to come to terms with the fact that their unarmed police are woefully unprepared to deal with armed criminals.
The reality is that in 2016 there were 8,399 crimes involving firearms despite access to firearms being very limited, and it getting worse. Crimes involved firearms had increased 7% over the previous year. Crimes involve knives or sharp instruments also rose to 28,859, increasing by 11%. The UK also has one of highest rates of acid attacks in the world, with an average of 2 acid attack a day. In 2016 there were almost 70,000 burglaries in Greater London with more than 43,000 taking place in people's homes. Britain's capital London last year actually surpassed New York in rates of violent crime. The point being, parts of England have become radically less safe in a short amount of time.
British police have not been able to accurately respond to this increase in violence. The majority of their constables are unarmed, and many of them are also female. There are several viral videos showing British police being overpowered by criminals, one example shows 11 British police officers chasing a man with a knife, unable to take him down. British police even started requesting bystanders to intervene to help them make arrests.
Unarmed British Police were the victims of over 24,000 assaults in 2017, which is 1000 more than 2015. There is a disturbing video that demonstrates clearly just how impotent these unarmed officers are. In the video several officers respond to a report of a young girl in imminent danger in a subway. However, before they ever reach this possible victim they come across a crowd of 100, mostly young men, proceeded to attack the officers. The young men threw bricks, shot fireworks at and punch the officers, highlighting how powerless the police were in the situation.
Not only are they the victims of assault but unarmed British police are helpless victims of murders and terrorism. They simply are unable to stop a gunman or even someone wielding a knife without a gun themselves.
The British Police valiantly attempt to protect their communities, but they often just become victims themselves. However, not all British police are unarmed. There are very few, specially trained armed officers that conduct vehicle patrols and are only used to combat crimes involving armed assailants.
This strategy however is not working, the Police are rarely able to quickly respond to and stop violent armed attackers, because of time needed for travel. This is why criminals seem to have so much time to keep creating victims in the UK. One example is the Westminster terrorist attack. Over the course of 82 seconds, a jihadi terrorist drove his SUV into pedestrians on a bridge, killing 4 people. After crashing his vehicle into the gates of Westminster Palace, he then exited the vehicle with a knife and killed an unarmed police officer that responded to the scene. Had that officer been armed, he’d be alive today. The most shocking and telling part of the story was that the armed police officers took 46 minutes to arrive on scene and put down the terrorist. During that time he was free to roam around looking for more victims.
All of this clearly explains why the British police need to make a change. Their motto simply can’t be, “when danger is near, we’re 46 minutes away, and even when we get there we might get beat to a pulp by roaming gangs of kids.”
Scotland Yard recently released a statement explaining their solution to these problems, and that is that they “MAY” be deploying armed police to patrol areas of London where “gang activity is likely”. They also said their patrols would not be routine, that they will be a temporary measure for short periods of time, and that the Scotland Yard are still in discussions to determine the details.
Wow, it ALMOST sounded like they had grown a backbone and were about to really start taking violent crime seriously. For the record, of course I support armed officers patrolling London, because I don’t think it is fair to doom your unarmed police to serious harm or death should they face the growing likelihood of a violent criminal. I don’t think it is fair to the citizenry that their police are not able to defend themselves or the public. I think that 46 minutes is an absurd about of time to wait in a metropolitan area. No, I’m fine with the idea of more armed police to protect the people. What bothers me about this statement is how they are pathetically apologetic in suggesting the idea. They really foot stomp how temporary and short these measures will be. Well I hate to break it to you, but if you want to protect your officers and your citizens, then this change can’t be temporary. That’s because the cultural change that is causing this rise in violence is not temporary.
Not long after they released their tentative plan to used armed officers for patrols, Scotland yard was met with harsh criticism.
MP David Lammy criticized the proposal as “an attempt to put out fire with fire”.
Actually, it’s fighting fire with fire. Comparing terrorism or crime in this way is a horrible analogy. It’s far more similar to a war, where one side is literally trying to kill you. In that case, you want to have at least as big a gun as the enemy, if not a far better one.
David Lammy went on to say “Officers patrolling with weapons will only increase fear and distrust of the police in those communities on the front line of gang violence. This risks turning our streets into armed battlegrounds.
Your streets are already an armed battleground, one that you are sending your helpless unarmed officers into to die on. Furthermore, the members of your community don’t trust in police officers that can’t defend them, and criminals SHOULD fear the police. The problem is they Don’t. Lammy continued: “The way to tackle violent crime is by going after the international gangsters fueling it. Instead of going after the key drivers of crime, this measure mistakenly focuses on the kids on the street who are being used as foot soldiers.”
You need to focus on BOTH things. Just because the foot soldiers in this war are sent into battle because of a gang leader, it doesn’t mean you should just let them run amuck. Now I know you have limited resources, being as London has made huge budget cuts in policing, cutting officers, while at the same time devoting thousands of police officers to investigating offensive joke on the internet, but honestly that’s a self imposed problem. You’ve got your priorities all wrong.
Labour peer Lord Harris of Haringey, who has advised the London mayor Sadiq Khan, is not convinced the move would be helpful. “It would be seen as provocative. It will inspire fear rather than reassurance. It will hinder community confidence and do little in itself to reduce the number of violent incidents,” he told the House of Lords.
The advisor for Sadiq Khan has no credibility in claiming what will reduce violent crime, because as it has been under Kahn’s policies that London has become so violent. Keep in mind Khan lets hundreds of terrorists return to London after having fought for ISIS, against British soldiers, and his excuse is that they simply don’t have the budget to deal with tracking or arresting them.
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