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Image: An armed police in London “The romantic image of the unarmed police service should be consigned to the history books,” according to Norman Brennan, who served for 31 years with the British Transport Police and now campaigns to arm his former colleagues. “We are now living in a war zone where terrorists have infiltrated Europe the least we can do to give our police the tools they need.” click this siteBrennan claimed officers without guns are “sitting ducks” when facing armed criminals and terrorists. Despite the increase in London, the number of armed officers across England and Wales has actually plummeted by 1,267 since 2009 to just 5,639 this year. Some are reluctant to volunteer for firearms duties because they fear they will be “hung out to dry” if they have to use their weapons, according to the Police Federation which represents officers. Many point to Anthony Long, an ex-Met officer only cleared in 2015 after fatally shooting a suspected armed robber a decade earlier. Long told the BBC this month that the U.K.’ police watchdog “seems to be treating officers as criminals.” A poll by the federation this year said that 40 percent of officers fear being attacked at work but just half that number were willing to be armed. “By time people start hitting you, it’s too late to defend yourself” Members of the public are evenly split on the issue, according to figures published earlier this month by pollster BMG Research. Only 26 percent believe police are prepared for a terrorist attack. But just 42 percent were in favor of arming all officers down from 48 percent in December.

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