Monday, June 7, 2010

For LEOs in the United Kingdom

After the tragedy in Cumbria, it is coming out that this shooter could have been stopped earlier, if only law enforcement had firearms. No, the police in the UK do not carry firearms.

This post is for Inspector Gadget at  the Police Inspector blog. Joseph Swain is an illustrator who produced a series of engravings on the plight of police in the Victorian Era, I believe for Punch Magazine. So far I have found two. I think they are copyrighted, so I will just pass them on in the hopes some Reformer Organization in the UK will pay to use them. Or heck, don't we need this one right here in the U.S.?  This one is called, "More Police!!"

The next one is called "An Unequal Match: The Truncheon is no Match for a Gun." We could also say, in the U.S., that this applies, although the force differential is not quite as wide.
You know, Reality frequently stays the same. But Policy??? Never.

I wish you all the best.


Linnnn said...

Still they don't? Who'd want a career in law enforcement there? Canon fodder....

Ann T. said...

Dear Linnnn,
I am constantly struck by Inspector Gadget's lovely use of language in contrast to the doublespeak and mixed messages UK police appear to receive. Not just the lack of weapons but the p.c. and consumer-driven, rather than principle-driven approach.

It's the wave of the freakin' future, I fear--the language at least, totally divorced from meaning. And that makes a difference, as tools are denied to make the job meaningful. . .

Thanks for writing in!
Ann T.

Sandra said...

A colleague of mine who came to the VPD from the UK related a story about how his department had chased after a carload of crooks who had committed a robbery.

Only when the police car was shot at with an automatic gun (think along the lines of an AK47) and after the officers either 1) abandoned the bullet-catcher/police car, or 2) tried to stuff themselves into the glove box in an effort to make themselves a smaller target, did the police realize the suspects were armed.

Then the officers had to wait for their 'armed car', a vehicle not unlike a SWAT team, but the only ones on the force to carry guns.

My hat is off to the officers over in the UK - not only are they not armed, they do the same job we do over here in North America but with much less equipment.

Momma Fargo said...

Very cool. I've never seen those before. Opened my eyes! Thank you!

Ann T. said...

Dear Sandra,
I can imagine wanting to climb into the glove box or bail in that situation. I just find this unbelievable.

The comments over at Inspector Gadget include many that assume those officers who have firearms will not be trained, or will pull it on the first day. Yet I know many officers (if not most) here do not have to use theirs for long stretches of their career and maybe never.

I hope they will turn to Canada's model since we have the John Wayne taint all over us by reputation.

And I am with you. Their bravery in such a force differential is almost unbelievable.

Thanks very much for adding perspective.

Ann T.

Ann T. said...

Dear Momma Fargo,
Isn't it amazing that some things never change? Thanks for stopping in to check those pictures out!

Ann T.

Bob G. said...

We used to joke about the constables in days past...
We'd say if they saw a perp running from the scene, the usual response by the officer would be:
"Stop...or I'll blow my whistle!"

Yeah, that ALWAYS works.


Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
It's got to be so difficult for them. Discussion just Erupted at Inspector Gadget yesterday. I hope the powers-that-be have an epiphany soon. Of course they mostly have bodyguards.

Ann T.

Anonymous said...

And I thought we were backwards here in the United States.

Ann T. said...

Dear Spark Check,
According to Gadget the UK is the only country in the EU that does not have armed police force.

The civilian comments on Gadget's blog are crazy. They think every police officer that gets a gun will use it immediately on someone else or commit suicide that very night.

It seems more suicidal now, if you're asking me.

Ann T.