Police chief shuns arming all officers

West Midlands Police officers should not carry firearms as a matter of routine, one of the force’s most senior officers said today.

Male and female police officer credit PA

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson said the shooting of policewomen Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, in Manchester, where he worked for over 20 years, had “brought into stark focus” the dangers of policing. But he explained he did not believe that arming all officers with guns would be a step in the right direction for the regional police service.

“I think we are really proud of the fact that we are predominantly an unarmed police service and we do a huge amount of work to ensure there are not many guns on the streets,” he added.

“I don’t think there is any need to revisit or change that.

“We have armed officers who are specialised. I don’t think the widespread arming would achieve greater protection for officers or the public.”

Mr Thompson has spent the majority of his career with Greater Manchester Police and between 2007 and 2010 was the force’s Assistant Chief Constable, before joining West Midlands Police.

“What happened was horrifying and while I don’t know the two officers concerned, I think it’s fair to say I know a lot of others like them,” he added.

“What happened in Manchester has brought into stark focus the important and dangerous work police officers deal with.”

Since Tuesday’s killings of the two officers more than 2,700 police officers, including many from West Midlands Police, have taken to Twitter to offer their time to allow Greater Manchester Police officers and staff to attend the funeral services.