Armed police call-outs fall in Humberside force area amid rising officer numbers

Armed police are being deployed to fewer incidents in Humberside amid a boost to officer numbers, figures reveal.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 12:15 pm
Home Office data shows Humberside Police conducted 249 armed operations in the year to March. Photo: PA Images

Home Office data shows Humberside Police conducted 249 armed operations in the year to March.

This was down 13% from 2018-19, when there 287 firearms operations, but still an increase of 87% from a decade ago.

Meanwhile, the number of armed officers in the force rose from 73 to 84 over the period. That was higher than a decade earlier (77 officers).

Nationally, the number of police firearms operations fell for the first time in four years to 19,372, down 4% from 2018-19. During that time, officers’ guns were fired in just five incidents, eight fewer than the year before.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for armed policing, Simon Chesterman, said using a weapon is “always a last resort”. He added: “A mark of the quality of training that armed officers receive is how infrequently they have to use their weapons.”

Despite the dangerous nature of the job, firearms officers, who undergo weeks of training, do not receive a higher salary and can be subject to scrutiny for their actions on duty.