Armed foot patrols?

PUBLISHED: 16:55 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:50 16 August 2010

RUMOURS that police are conducting routine armed foot patrols have been countered by the capital s police chief. Commissioner

RUMOURS that police are conducting "routine armed foot patrols" have been countered by the capital's police chief.

Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson issued a statement which said: "I wish to be clear: there have not been any routine armed foot patrols, and nor will there be any.

"Fewer than ten intelligence-led specific operations have been undertaken by C019 which involved providing back up to neighbourhood teams. These were pre-planned operations, with specific objectives and timescales and were by no means routine in any way. Unfortunately there has been a failure to appreciate that this could look like a significant change of policing style. The way in which we have communicated this has led to the mistaken impression that we have created regular armed uniform foot patrols. That is not the case and it is not going to happen."

He said that despite a recent increase in gun crime, it remains lower than two years ago.

"Firearms officers will continue to be deployed in situations where firearms present a threat and in support of their unarmed colleagues," he said. "If in the future it becomes necessary to extend uniformed armed deployments I will of course ensure full and robust consultation with the police authority and the wider community prior to implementation.

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