A serving firearms officer told Sky News that many officers are considering handing in their weapons if the identity of the officer who is accused with Chris Kaba’s murder is made public by the judge at a hearing that will take place at the Old Bailey on 4 October.
Last week, after a Met firearms officer was charged with the murder of Chris Kaba following a CPS decision, Home Secretary had ordered a review into armed policing, stating that armed police must not fear “ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties” since many armed police officers handed in their guns after their colleague’s murder charge.
The Police Federation of England and Wales has also stated it recognises the “genuine apprehension” of armed officers have and welcomed the review ordered by the Home Secretary, saying that it will ensure police officers have the appropriate legal protection they need when undertaking crime prevention operations.
Following these developments, Sky News reported yesterday that many armed police officers were still considering to hand in their weapons if the anonymity order if lifted for the firearms police officer who is named as NX121 after a district judge granted an interim anonymity order.
Speaking to Sky News, a serving firearms officer said: “The anonymity hearing will determine what happens. If he loses his anonymity, then serious questions will be asked.
“I haven’t handed my firearm in yet, but I would if that happens – and there are many others that would do the same.”
Sky News confirmed the protest by speaking to two other armed police officers as well.
“There is a concern on the part of firearms officers that even if they stick to the tactics and training they have been given, they will face years of protracted legal proceedings which impact on their personal wellbeing and that of their family. While previous reviews have been announced, they have not delivered change,” the Met chief said.
“Carrying a firearm is voluntary. We rely on officers who are willing to put themselves at risk on a daily basis to protect the public from dangerous criminals including terrorists. Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, and the confidence that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour.”