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Wrong to arm all police, says former senior firearms officer


A former senior police firearms officer who planned major operations has said the public would not accept every bobby on the beat routinely carrying a pistol.

Andy Redhead, who had 20 years as a highly qualified armed officer, said people see police with guns more regularly, but they are more comfortable knowing those officers are in the minority, with most being unarmed.

Mr Redhead, who set up the security firm Sec-Tech after serving in the Metropolitan and Northumbria police forces, does not want to see all officers carry guns.

"I think it would be wrong to routinely arm all officers," he said.

"Officers have different skills, whether they are detection, surveillance or marine operations, and firearms is an expertise.

"Not every officer wants to carry a firearm and I am a firm believer that we should have dedicated experts. They should be the best equipped officers anywhere on the planet."

Mr Redhead gained qualifications in rapid intervention, protection and as a tactical adviser and was responsible for anti-terror raids and other covert operations.

He expressed his condolences to the families of the officers killed, adding: "Mercifully it is rare.

"Of course if you armed police, would violent offenders then feel they had to carry guns all the time?"