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Season's Greetings and pass the amunition

Gulliver | 21.12.2005 08:45 | Anti-militarism | Free Spaces | Repression

Armed police were again out on the streets of Nottingham city centre yesterday

I joined the merry throngs doing their Christmas shopping in town yesterday and as I got to the junction of High St and Victoria St I was shocked to see armed police hanging around among the crowds. Two officers in their 'SWAT' outfits were carrying their modern rifle-type weapons; one beside a Securicor van parked on the pavement and another on the other side of the road. A Police vehicle with other officers was parked facing them just in High St. I have no idea why they were there, there was nothing conspicuously occurring.

Their casual stance added the the disquieting effect. I kind of assume that if they are carrying lethal weapons it is because they consider they may have to use them. In which case why wasn't the area cordoned off to the public to reduce the risk of injury to passers by? I can only assume that they did not consider there would be any need to use their weapons, in which case why were they there?

I have a very real and genuine concern that such incidents contribute to 'gun culture' because it desensitises us to the presence of guns in our everyday lives. So I now feel less safe on Nottingham's streets after yesterday's experience.

PS A survey is currently being conducted (by the Police Federation I think)asking all police officers for their views on all police being armed.



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  1. bang bang — tim