Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ARMED PATROLS IN LONDON DOUBLED; Met Will Train 600 More Marksmen to Counter Threat of Paris-Style attackMet Chief: We Need a Fast Response to Halt Spontaneous Acts of Terrorism

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ARMED PATROLS IN LONDON DOUBLED; Met Will Train 600 More Marksmen to Counter Threat of Paris-Style attackMet Chief: We Need a Fast Response to Halt Spontaneous Acts of Terrorism

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

SCOTLAND Yard today doubled the number of routine armed patrols in London to counter the threat of a Parisstyle terrorist attack.

The Met will also boost to 400 a specialist squad of firearms officers who are trained to storm buildings occupied by gun-wielding fanatics.

Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe announced this morning that he was increasing the total number of trained marksmen by 600, taking it to around 2,800 in a PS25 million move.

The announcement came as suicide bombers and gunmen today carried out a marauding attack on the Indonesian capital Jakarta, leaving at least seven people dead. There were reports of gunmen on motorbikes throwing grenades, with explosions at a Starbucks cafe and United Nations offices in the city.

Today Sir Bernard said he was doubling the number of armed response vehicles on patrol in the capital to improve the force's ability to respond quickly to a gun attack.

In a statement Sir Bernard said: "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. 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. This increase has started already and every day we are getting stronger. It will be an expensive option, but is vital to keeping us safe."

He added: "My firearms officers are our heroes -- we expect them to run towards a terrorist attack and take action to confront and stop that threat." In a recent training exercise police revealed that specialist firearms officers were now trained to ignore injured victims but to "go forward" and tackle terrorist gun attackers. …

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