Sorting by


‘dozens’ of firearms officers hand in weapons to protest colleague’s murder charge

Metropolitan police firearms officers are handing in their weapons and refusing to go out on armed patrols and over the decision to charge one of their colleagues with Chris Kaba’s murder.

It claimed more than 70 police marksmen want time to consider whether or not they wish to still carry a gun following the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) decision.

Some are refusing to go out on regular armed patrol and have remained at their stations and others say they will only respond to emergency situations, The Guardian reports.

The force confirmed “a number of” its armed officers have stepped back from their duties – but did not specify how many had walked out.

It said as result of the exodus of officers, the Met is being supported by neighbouring forces, who have agreed to loan it some of its armed officers if it needs them.

On Wednesday (20 September), the armed officer, only identified as NX121, was charged with the murder of Mr Kaba in September last year.

Mr Kaba died aged 24 in Streatham Hill, south-east London, after the officer shot him through a car windscreen.

The officer has been bailed and is expected to stand trial next year.

The Met told i senior officers, including the Met commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, have held talks with the firearms teams to discuss the implications of the decision to charge their colleague with murder.

They also confirmed following the CPS decision, a number of officers decided not to carry out armed duties “while they consider their position,” and that number has increased over the past 48 hours.

A spokesman for the force said in a statement: “Senior officers, including the commissioner, have been meeting with firearms officers in recent days as they reflect on the CPS decision to charge NX121 with murder.

“Many are worried about how the decision impacts on them, on their colleagues and on their families. They are concerned that it signals a shift in the way the decisions they take in the most challenging circumstances will be judged.

“We are in ongoing discussions with those officers to support them and to fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have.”

The spokesman said in order to ensure “the public are kept safe” and respond to any eventualities, Met firearms officers will be supported by a limited number of armed officers from neighbouring forces.

They added: “Our priority is to keep the public safe. We are closely monitoring the situation and are exploring contingency options, should they be required.”

The force said it will still provide firearms cover at airports, for royalty, diplomatic premises and parliament.

It also stressed that Met officers still make up the vast majority of armed resources deployed across London.

It is understood, Suella Braverman will discuss the situation with the force at a police memorial day ceremony on Sunday in Cardiff, which will honour officers who have died on duty.

After meeting with firearms officers, Mr Rowley said: “They were understandably anxious as they consider how others may assess their split-second decisions years after the event, with the luxury of as much time as they want to do this, and the effect this can have on them and their families.

“They are not only prepared to confront the armed and dangerous to protect London’s communities but they do so recognising the uniquely intense and lengthy personal accountability they will face for their split-second operational decisions.

“Indeed, I understand why many of them are reflecting on the potential price of such weighty responsibilities. Bravery comes in many forms.

“When officers have the levels of uncertainty and worry I saw in my colleagues today, simply going in and doing their jobs, not knowing what incidents are ahead of them, is courageous.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button