Praise for ‘imaginative’ Bedfordshire security plan

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Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has praised the force for an ‘imaginative’ plan to provide increased firearms protection.

Training started last autumn to increase the number of firearms officers available across the county 50 per cent.

However, she stressed this is a long-planned initiative and not a response to the recent terror atrocities in Manchester and London.

Commissioner Holloway said: “The decision was taken to uplift the firearms capacity in February last year, and four courses took place in autumn 2016.

“Therefore, this is a well-considered, long-standing plan and not a reaction to the atrocities in Manchester and London, but suitable fore-planning.

“This imaginative way of providing extra firearms officers by training up suitably skilled roads policing officers, has my full support.

“I am assured that there is no intention for them to replace firearms teams in day to day activity, but it does mean that the people of Bedfordshire have extra protection.”

The decision follows a successful scheme, where roads policing teams provide support as authorised firearms officers in Norfolk.

It is a response to a direction to all forces from the Home Office to increase the numbers of firearms officers, which was issued in 2016.

Paul Fullwood, assistant chief constable at Bedfordshire Police added: “The tragic incidents in Manchester and London show us how important it is that we have the appropriate number of firearms trained officers across Bedfordshire and rural areas.”