Home Office figures revealing armed officers discharged their weapons just ten times last year prove Britain’s armed police are the “most restrained” in the world according to the Police Federation of England and Wales.
The figures, which cover the 12 months to March 2017, are an increase on the seven discharges in the previous year but show officers used their weapons in just a tiny number of the 15,705 operations they took part in.
London accounted for the largest number of firearms operations with 4,274 of the total.
Che Donald, the Federation’s firearms lead, said: “Firearms discharges remain low, down to the excellent decision making shown by our officers, demonstrating that we are still the best trained and most restrained policing service in the world.”
He added: “Undoubtedly the increase is down to the world we now live in. Recent crime statistics show that knife crime has increased by 20% and gun crime by 23%.”
Police forces across the country are increasing their number of firearms officers to meet the changing crime and national security situation, with Home Office figures showing the total number in England and Wales now stand at 6,278, an increase of 639 on the previous year.