Firearms officers with the Metropolitan Police have returned to normal duties – a week after some put down their weapons.
More than 100 reportedly handed in permits allowing them to carry guns on duty after an unnamed colleague was charged with the murder of Chris Kaba.
The unarmed 24-year-old died after being shot through the windscreen of a car in Streatham Hill, southeast London, on 6 September 2022.
Image: Chris Kaba was killed in September 2022 Charges against the officer, known only as NX121, had led dozens of armed police to step back and consider their positions.
At the time, a Met Police spokesman said this was linked to concerns of “a shift in the way the decisions they make in the most challenging circumstances will be judged”.
Scotland Yard had placed the army on standby to cover counter-terrorism duties if needed, but they did not end up being deployed.
And while officers from other areas have also been providing help, the Met confirmed on Thursday evening that they are no longer required.
In a statement, the force said: “Over the past 24 hours, further armed officers have returned to armed duties ensuring we have a comprehensive and London-wide firearms response in our communities, and at key protected locations.
“Senior officers continue to meet with and support colleagues through this time.”
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Armed police ‘extremely anxious’ As the crisis unfolded last week, Home Secretary Suella Braverman had said firearms officers “mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties”, while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said armed police needed “clarity” about the legal powers they have.
Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley echoed these remarks, adding: “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.”