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We can now shoot terrorist drivers

London young muslim vigil westminster attack march Armed police 'may open fire on terrorists using vehicles as weapons'
Eleena Tovar | 21 Abril, 2017, 00:44

He also announced that the number of authorised firearms officers available to be deployed across England and Wales is to reach 10,500 by next year an increase of about 1,500. Members of these units are highly trained, including in operations involving ships or aircraft.

The UK was already reviewing its armed policing capacity following the attacks that killed 130 in Paris in 2015.

The gunman was overpowered by three American citizens, two of whom were off-duty soldiers, and a British grandfather.

Mr Chesterman said: 'It is true that by the time we've delivered the uplift we will in effect be back where we were in 2010. "We know now what to do and how to do it".

As part of the recruitment drive, the network of specialist counter-terrorism firearms officers is also set to double in size.

They are used to patrol gun crime hotspots in London as part of their regular duties, but are in the front line for any response to a terror attack.

Last month, Khalid Masood killed four people on London's Westminster Bridge when he mounted the pavement in a vehicle and drove into pedestrians.

BRITAIN'S armed policing strength will surge to more than 10,000 by next year as forces increase their defences against terrorist attacks.

Mr Chesterman said: "We've seen some very frightful and different tactics lately involving vehicles and lorries".

Vehicle attacks by terrorists in Nice, Berlin and most recently London have led the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) to issue new instructions to officers to shoot through the windscreens.

"But if the vehicle is being used as a weapon in the first place, there aren't many tactics available in relation to stopping it, particularly a very large lorry", said Chesterman, the NPCC lead on firearms.

"So driving a vehicle in front of it for example is not going to stop it so you need to shoot the driver". "So you need to shoot the driver", he said.

Apparently the challenge given this change is now supplying officers with the right sort of ammunition, which can penetrate glass without deflection.

Elite marksmen have been given new assault rifles ready to eliminate terrorists who get behind the wheel in a bid to cause a bloodbath.

It comes as the NPCC announced that since past year the number of firearms offices in England and Wales has increased by 640 - largely financed by a £143 million Home Office programme.

An increase in numbers would reverse the trend of recent years, however.

Mr Chesterman warned that there was a "perfect storm" brewing in the background, which could hit efforts to attract the best candidates to armed policing and retain current personnel.

He cited factors including concerns among firearms officers that they will be treated as suspects rather than professional witnesses if they are involved in police shootings.