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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77602 Find in a Library
Title: Police of the People, for the People
Journal: Police  Volume:13  Issue:8  Dated:(April 1981)  Pages:14-16,18
Author(s): J Jardine
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Analogies are drawn between the United States and Great Britain in this discussion of British police, their increased problems with minority groups, their experiences with gun control, and their policies towards terrorists.
Abstract: From the start, the British police were intended to be a democratic body maintaining complete independence of political party control. Chief constables maintain full responsibility in prosecutions, operational policy, and internal matters. Unlike American officers, most British police are armed only with truncheons. Likewise, citizens are greatly restricted from possessing firearms and must have a firearm certificate granted by the chief officer of police before acquiring a weapon. Before a certificate is granted, the police make careful inquiries into the applicant's reason for possession and his character. Persons granted certificates are usually members of organized shooting clubs who may carry weapons (usually shotguns) only for the purposes for which permission has been granted. Out of two and a half million serious offenses reported in 1979, firearms were involved in 6,500 and 5 out of 6 of these offenses involved air weapons. Despite the strict gun control laws, British police officers have been taught the basics of firearms use, in order to deal with armed terrorists and criminals. Most of the country's terrorism is experienced in Northern Ireland, although murder squads from the Middle East have also been active. The British policy towards dealing with terrorists is to negotiate to save lives while never giving in to terrorist demands. In situations calling for armed conflict, special army units may be placed in action. Photographs are included.
Index Term(s): Great Britain/United Kingdom; Gun Control; Police hostage negotiations training; Police response to terrorism; Police weapons use
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