Gun lessons for PCCs include dealing with attackers

MCHG Police firearms

MCHG Police firearms

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Hemel’s Police and Crime commissioner’s staff were this week taught how to defend themselves against armed attackers and petrol bombers.

A special training course was organised to help PCCs from three counties “think like police officers”.

In a series of mock scenarios, they were faced with would-be attackers armed with baseball bats and knives,

They were shown what to do when one of the attackers threatening to douse himself in petrol while running at them at speed and shouting abuse.

The PCCs and their colleagues were made to decide at what point a gun, Taser gun or baton should be used by firearm officers.

Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd sent representatives from his office on the course.

Afterwards a spokesman for the crime commissioners said: “I knew that police officers must always shoot to stop, not to kill.

“In the cold light of day – outside a situation where someone is charging at you with a knife and not prepared to stop, using a gun against a person with a knife doesn’t sound like reasonable force until you’re right there understanding that if you don’t stop that person – someone is going to die in the next few seconds.”

The spokesman added: “We heard that Tasers are often ineffective because they can’t always penetrate thick fabrics of coats or even some hoodies, so officers have to consider other means of stopping them in an instant and aiming at an arm or leg isn’t necessarily going to immediately do that.”

Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire have eight armed policing teams, including two based permanently at Luton Airport.

They are called to an average of three incidents every day.

Specialist Operations Superintendent Nick Knight, is in charge of the Tri-force Armed Policing Unit.

He said even if a sighting of a weapon turned out to be mistaken, he and his fellow officers would rather be “safe than sorry” and deploy armed rather than unarmed police to make sure members of the public as well as police officers were protected.

The tri-force officers often assist the Metropolitan Police and have even provided protection for the Queen.

www.hemeltoday.co.uk