UK plans new armed police unit to respond to terror attacks
Britain is considering to set up its first rapid action armed police unit comprising 4,000 highly trained officers to respond to terror attacks at short notice.
The unit will be created from the existing firearms units of the British Transport Police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the Ministry of Defence Police.
According to The Financial Times, the new squad will be known as Armed Infrastructure Constabulary and is expected to be a highly mobile team with unified systems and communications.
Its brief will be to protect the country’s infrastructure as well as respond quickly to any marauding terrorist attacks on the lines of the attacks in Paris and Nice recently.
Rick Muir, director of the Police Foundation think-tank, told the newspaper the policy was an “inevitable” response to terror attacks on the continent which involved perpetrators using firearms to create mass casualties.However, he warned against giving more guns to the British Transport Police, who are “much more public-facing” than the other forces who would be merged.
“If you merge organisations that use armed officers in different roles, you do not want a creeping of specialist methods into new contexts. You do not want an armed force regularly patrolling the trains, for instance,” he said.