With the Metropolitan police saying they would press on with plans to allow armed officers to patrol areas with their guns visible and ready to use (in December 2018) in an effort to reduce knife crime it; brings up the question on whether to allow most police officers to have firearms around England. The U.K. currently has less than 5% of police officers being armed with all of Northern Ireland police officers carrying firearms.

One advantage of having increased an increased number of police officers being armed is that it could reduce the violent crime. This has been especially so with the recent surge in knife crime in London which could assist in tackling this.

Additionally, having more armed police officers could reduce terrorism as the threat could be stopped far more easily because armed officers could be on the scene faster most of the time. However, the police officers must be well trained in order to handle the situation effectively.

One disadvantage of is the huge cost for all the firearms along with the long time needed in being trained to use these firearms. It takes around two to three weeks for a police officer to be ready and deployed with a handgun. This significant cost could arguably be spent elsewhere like the NHS.

Another significant downside to arming the police could be the further division and lack of trust between the public and police. This could make the public more fearful.

Overall, I think that police officers should not be armed in large numbers as it creates a large division between the police and the public and would cost a significant amount of money although in some areas where crime is very high it could be justified.