Nick O'Shea

Former Lib Dem councillor for Capel and Newdigate Learn more

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NO to armed police on Surrey’s streets

by Nick O'Shea on 19 September, 2012

“We’re not going to see armed police routinely patrolling our streets,” says Nick O’Shea, Liberal Democrat candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner in Surrey.

Mr O’Shea’s commitment comes after the murder of two unarmed police officers in Manchester on Tuesday, and reflects views expressed by Sir Hugh Orde, President of ACPO (the Association of Chief Police Officers), who recognised that there will be calls to routinely arm the police.

“It has always been a fundamental principle that British police are not normally armed. The view of the British police service from top to bottom is they don’t want to be armed,” Mr O’Shea adds.

“At a time when we need police to work more with all sections of the community, particularly minorities, this would be a backward step. One thing Sir Hugh says he learnt while Chief Constable in Northern Ireland, where he commanded an armed service, was that it distanced the police from many of the communities they were trying to work with. People don’t like approaching officers with guns.

“One result of arming the police is that it will inevitably mean that more criminals will be tempted to carry arms themselves. This just escalates the problem and makes the situation with gun crime worse. Evidence from across the world where armed police are the norm shows that it does not necessarily save police officers’ lives, but in many places does seem to increase overall gun-related crime.”

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