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List of police firearms in the United Kingdom: Wikis


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Within the British Police, officers are not routinely armed.[1] Instead, they rely on specially trained Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO), crewing Armed Response Vehicles to attend emergency calls where firearms might be needed. Specialist Firearms Officers are usually trained to a higher standard than an AFO, because they are likely to be the officers required to enter besieged premises. The vast majority of firearms used by the British Police are semi-automatic.

Police use of force regarding firearms is dictated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Engagement rules in most circumstances state that the officer is to aim for the central mass in order to increase accuracy and to effectively incapacitate. The aim of doing this is to incapacitate the person, regardless of the risk of death or injury to the target.[2]. Under Operation Kratos contingency plans which were activated after the 2005 London Bombings allowed officers to aim for the head, due to the risk of detonating explosives around the central mass of a suspected suicide bomber.


Standard weapons (AFO)

Firearms in service vary between police forces in the UK, due to individual Chief Constables and Police Authorities dictating the number of firearms officers and police firearms available to each force.

Despite being armed, Authorised Firearms Officers still carry the standard issue telescopic baton, CS/PAVA incapacitant spray and Hiatts Speedcuffs. However, instead of wearing a stab-resistant vest they wear a ballistic one. In some circumstances firearms officers carry a mobile phone and two radios, one for the standard police Airwave system, and the other to solely communicate with other firearms officers.

Specialist Firearms Officers usually wear fire retardant overalls, along with the ballistic vest and in some cases a police variant of the S10 Respirator.

The following firearms are commonly issued to Authorised Firearms Officers.

Specialist weapons (SFO)

In some circumstances, fully automatic firearms can be authorised for use. The following have in the past been on issue to Specialist Firearms Officers.

Non-Home office police firearms

Heavier weapons

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary use a range of heavier weapons up to automatic cannon of 30mm calibre[7] deployed on the ships of Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited, which transport spent nuclear fuel and reprocessed uranium on behalf of BNFL.[8]




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