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Met police to train 600 armed officers to counter terrorism

ARMED OFFICERS: The Met is attempting to counter terrorism by training more armed officers

SIX HUNDRED extra armed officers are to be trained to help counter the threat of a terrorist attack in London, the Metropolitan Police has announced.

It represents more than a 25 per cent increase, bringing the total number of armed officers in the capital to 2,800.

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "It will be an expensive option, but is vital to keeping us safe."

Following the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 Hogan-Howe asked for plans to be developed to increase the number of firearms officers.

In a statement, he said: "It is my job to make sure that the Met has plans in place to keep the people of London as safe as they can be. The tragic attacks in Paris reinforced the vital role that firearms officers would be called upon to play on behalf of all of us, to run forward and confront the deadly threat that such attackers would pose.

"Whilst I sincerely hope it is something that never happens on our streets, it is only right that the Met are as ready as can be.

"In the days following Paris I asked my firearms team to increase the number of armed response vehicles available on our streets, which we did. Now I have decided that we take the steps to increase these numbers on a permanent basis.

"To do so, the Met will now start putting plans in place to raise the number of armed officers that we have by 600," he continued. "This increase will more than double the number of armed response vehicles on our streets and grow a highly trained specialist part of our capability. This is because we know that the threat we currently face is likely to be a spontaneous attack that requires a fast response to deal with it.

Hogan-Howe added: "This increase has started already and everyday we are getting stronger. It will be an expensive option, but is vital to keeping us safe.

"My firearms officers are our heroes - we expect them to run towards a terrorist attack and take action to confront and stop that threat."

Recruitment to increase the number of firearms officers will now start internally within the Met.

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