During the terror attacks in London, witnesses were shocked to see members of the police force running away. And although this may seem strange in America, in the UK more than 90% of police officers do not carry guns.
These were not actually standard police, they were Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), whose role is to act as a liaison in the local community and also to provide a deterrent to crime (which was the original reason the police force was invented).
These terrible attacks will undoubtedly spark a debate on whether or not police should become armed, and in a wider view, whether the UK should allow gun ownership.
As reported in the Daily Caller:
“The police were running away, they were community police. They were normal officers, they were running away,” the eyewitnesses said.
With the police out of sight, onlookers began yelling “stop, stop” and throwing chairs. But then police arrived at the scene and “shot straight away.”
Police community support officers (PCSOs) operate usually in a paid, full-time role, and while “PCSOs do not have the same powers as regular police officers, they still carry a lot of responsibility, and are a critical part of the police service.”
More than 90 percent of police officers in London do not carry guns and instead carry mace, handcuffs, batons and, on occasion, a stun gun.