There are now 50 per cent more police firearms officers protecting Cambridgeshire - increase was planned before recent terror attacks

Assistant chief constable Paul Fullwood.

Assistant chief constable Paul Fullwood. - Credit: Archant

Plans to increase the number of armed officers were made in July last year in order to help protect the public and respond quickly to serious threats across the three counties.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Councillor Jason Ablewhite

Police and Crime Commissioner, Councillor Jason Ablewhite - Credit: Archant

The officers were selected from those already working within the three counties’ joint protection service unit (BCH JPS), and although the officers will not carry weapons on a routine basis, they are ready to be called upon should they be needed to respond swiftly in exceptional cases such as when life is at risk.

The increase is not in relation to any specific intelligence with regards to any imminent terror attack, and is not as a result of the recent terror attacks. The uplift came about following a direction to all forces from the Home Office last year.

Paul Fullwood, assistant chief constable for the BCH JPS, said: “Last year we carried out a review of the tri-force armed policing unit and found that the number of firearms officers across the three forces were sufficient to meet our day-to-day demand, but we felt it would be beneficial to increase the number of officers who are firearms trained in order to provide the best possible levels of protection and security across the three counties.

“Since then we have carried out a series of intensive training courses to ensure we have the very best calibre of people in this high pressured role and from today (Tuesday) there are now an additional 50 per cent firearms trained officers available in the tri-force area. (The exact number cannot be revealed)

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“When others run away from danger, our brave AFOs run towards the threat, as has been seen this weekend. They’re often faced with difficult and challenging decisions and as such we are hugely appreciative of their efforts in keeping the wider public safe.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Cllr Jason Ablewhite said: “I hope this move to increase the number of highly trained officers helps to reassure the people of Cambridgeshire. I am committed to ensuring the Constabulary has the necessary resources to protect the public.”

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