Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

May rules out arming of police

Home Secretary Theresa May reaffirmed the Government's position that police officers should not be routinely armed
Home Secretary Theresa May reaffirmed the Government's position that police officers should not be routinely armed

Police officers should not be routinely armed, Home Secretary Theresa May has said in the wake of the "savage" killing of two policewomen.

Mrs May cut short her holiday to travel back to the UK to visit the force HQ of Greater Manchester Police following the deaths of Pcs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, in a gun and grenade attack when they were lured to a house on a "routine" call.

The minister was given a two-hour briefing by senior officers conducting the investigation into the double murder of their own colleagues, which the Home Secretary described as "savage acts of pure brutality".

Speaking from GMP's HQ, the Home Secretary pledged to support police in their investigation but again stated Government policy is against the routine arming of officers.

"The Home Office have been supporting Greater Manchester Police in the work that they've been doing in relation to this case over the past week and will continue to do so," she said.

"I'm clear that every resource that GMP needs should be made available to it and forces across the country have been giving support in the work that GMP are doing.

"I think we are clear we have a British model of policing that is one that our police very much support.

"I think that routine unarmed policing that goes on in our streets is right. I don't think this is the time to be calling for the arming of police."

Mrs May also paid tribute to the officers who were gunned down, saying: "The murders of Pc Fiona Bone and Pc Nicola Hughes were savage acts of pure brutality. They have left grieving families and devastated Greater Manchester Police force.

"These were brave and talented officers who were going about their everyday duties, doing what they do, day in, day out, protecting the public, fighting crime and they were incredibly brave and their deaths are a reminder of what police officers face every day."

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