Police chief not worried about lack of armed officers

Vera Baird says there is no shortage of recruits willing to carry guns in Northumbria.

Vera Baird says there is no shortage of recruits willing to carry guns in Northumbria.

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A police chief says she has no immediate concerns for the future recruitment of armed officers and has no plans to call on the military to support officers on the streets unless presented with a major terror threat.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, spoke following comments made by the Police Federation’s chairman, Steve White and the national lead for firearms, Deputy Chief Constable, Simon Chesterman, after both expressed fears that police chiefs might struggle to recruit enough officers willing to carry guns to tackle a Paris-style terror attack - in case they are treated as criminal suspects should they use their weapon in the line of duty.

She said: “We’ve had a healthy response when recruiting for such roles previously and there is no evidence to suggest we will encounter difficulties here. The reported struggles to recruit are speculation.”