I have no idea why people cling to the belief that British police are unarmed. Sure, the average “bobby” on the beat doesn’t carry a sidearm, but they wear bullet resistant vests, carry tasers and batons and have immediate radio access to fully tooled-up armed response units. Then there are the fully armed police walking around “sensitive” parts of The Land of Hope and Glory (e.g., Buckingham Palace, Heathrow Airport and The City). As for the young lass above, dailymail.co.uk reports . . .
She is the new face of British policing.
Armed to the teeth and sporting military fatigues and a combat helmet, the officer is part of a counter-terrorism unit unveiled at Wembley last night. The elite Scotland Yard squad arrived in huge armoured vehicles to throw a ring of steel around the 80,000 fans watching England beat France. The marksmen were also toting their new lightweight, semi-automatic SIG 516 rifle.
The 130-strong unit has been developing new tactics with UK special forces, including abseiling from helicopters and tackling rampaging gunmen. They have been trained to shoot for the head instead of the usual target, the chest. They came out of the shadows in the wake of the massacre of 129 people in Paris on Friday . . . One expert described the counter-terrorism officers at Wembley as ‘effectively SAS officers in police uniform’.
Amid some of the tightest security ever seen at a sporting fixture, they took up key positions around the ground. Many of the officers chose to cover their faces because they sometimes work undercover. Their new weapon was selected to boost the power of police to respond to armed threats with increased accuracy while allowing them to move in confined spaces.
Their distinctive Jankel vans were last seen on the streets of the capital during the 2011 riots. The huge US trucks are effectively armoured vehicles, with huge amounts of space for officers and equipment.
Our guys tell us that the British special forces are the bomb (so to speak); fully capable of responding to terrorist attacks with speed, surprise and violence of action, while remaining operationally flexible. That said, the SAS-style cops aren’t first responders, are they? The people on the sharp end aren’t allowed so much as a folding knife for their own defense. How great is that?