Originally Posted by tamadrm
when I last visited London,as a retired NYPD,I was curious to know how the Metropolitan police felt about being armed and unarmed.In and around St James and Buckingham Palace,there were pleny of armed,yes armed PCs.I spock to a sergeant who was standing a post close to St James.I told him who I was,and said ,do you mind if I ask you a question.I said I notice your carrying a Glock 19,truthfully,don't you feel better with that on your hip?
He just smiled broadley ,and said..I feel the same way you do detective.
All due respect to the police and their armed response units, but as a civilian it makes me very uneasy to see armed police in UK streets. Rather than feel safer, my typical reaction is to think that something is wrong . . . something very bad has happened - otherwise armed officers wouldn't be there.
This was very much the case in the days that followed July 7th 2005. A day or two after the bombings I was passing through Leeds City (Railway) Station [which is about 200 miles away from central London where the attacks took place] and saw armed police patrolling the premises. They were armed with submachine guns as well as pistols and I suddenly felt anything but safe. The country was on a higher-than-usual level of security alert, sure, but having an armed police presence gave me little reassurance.
In the wake of the rioting and looting that took place in London and across the UK in August 2011 many called for police to be routinely armed or even to have troops deployed in the worst areas. I don't know about anyone else but I count myself as particularly fortunate to live in a time when Saracens aren't routinely rolling down some of the streets of this country.