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Statement regarding the protection of officers in the current climate


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This page was last updated on
18-Jan-2015 16:15

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Friday's statement from the national lead for counter-terrorism policing, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said that Chief Constables across the country were assessing how to strengthen the protection of officers.

The Metropolitan Police Service has reviewed the measures it takes in London to protect the safety of Met officers and the public, a process that has been going on since the change to the UK threat level and heightened concern about the risks facing police officers.

We want to set out some of what this has included in response to some inaccurate reporting in today's media. We do not discuss the details of our security response, but actions taken already include:

- security advice to officers and staff;
- measures around police buildings;
- changing risk assessments that affect how we deploy to certain incidents;
- bolstering levels of specialist support, including firearms officers.

The MPS has not decided to implement a blanket response regarding levels of crewing and patrolling in response to concerns about the risk of an attack on officers.

No decision has been taken to move automatically to having two officers or more in every vehicle. No decision has been taken to end single patrolling.

Instead, senior officers across London have reviewed and will continue to review procedures as part of our established risk assessment process.

This will also take into account the risks to public safety, to ensure that any changes to our approach to patrolling, or responding to calls, recognises the potential risks to all communities.

Our officers always face a range of threats when they undertake their work, not just from terrorism but also from those who use violence to further criminality. They are trained and experienced in assessing risk and maximising the safety of the public and colleagues.

Our experience of policing London and the UK tells us that our key focus should be on how to prevent attacks. The best way to do this is to engage even more widely with our communities to encourage them to pass on information about individuals who may be behaving in an unusual way or anything they have seen that might give rise for concern.

In November, the MPS participated in national counter-terrorism awareness week, in which a range of advice was issued to the public: http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Security-Advice-and-Information/1400006266952/1400006266952 and http://content.met.police.uk/News/Major-counter-terrorism-awareness-operation-launches-in-London/1400027993456/1257246745756

The measures currently being taken will continue to be actively reviewed and we remain fully committed to working closely with communities, who have a major role in working with the police to thwart those intending to cause harm.