One of the world's most respected police forces, Scotland yard, is examining its policy on weapons-use, after the gunning down of another armed criminal.
GV & CU police car stops and officer pointing gun shelters behind car door as he tells 'criminals' to surrender
SV PULL BACK TO GV 'criminal' exist slowly from car with hands aloft
CU police officer loading revolver PULL BACK TO SV other officers in firing range
SV officer taping holes in target
SV officer adopt firing position and pepper targets
SV ZOOM INTO CU reporter talking to Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police David Halsey in English
SV 'Balcombe Street' sign PAN TO view along street
SV policemen running down street and up steps into house
CU PULL OUT TO SV police officer showing development of 'Balcombe Street' siege on easel
GV officers listen as description of siege continues (TWO SHOTS)
SV police officer with automatic rifle adopts prone position and fires at building where 'suspect' is hiding (THREE SHOTS)
SV 'criminal' acting on instructions from police officer slowly lies on front and spreads arms and legs
SV officer instructs passenger in suspects' vehicle to open back door of car (TWO SHOTS)
SV PAN police officer continues aiming revolver at 'suspect' and instructs him to lie down on his front
CU stern-faced officer holding gun over suspect as colleague handcuffs man (TWO SHOTS)
REPORTER: "When and under what circumstances did the issuing of firearms to the British police become more frequent?"
HALSEY: "Well there are two factors here. First one, that we had to be prepared for terrorism, London being the capital city, a large airport, many embassies and a lot of VIP's about, obviously we had to be prepared for the terrorist. The second one is that unfortunately in the past few years, although it has only been in the last few years, there has been in increase in the number of criminals carrying weapons on the streets of London."
POLICE OFFICER: "The gunman, with a double-barrelled shotgun was now firing at anything which moved including fire-fighting appliances. A number of people including police were pinned down under or behind the ambulance.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: One of the world's most respected police forces, Scotland yard, is examining its policy on weapons-use, after the gunning down of another armed criminal. A man was shot at close range by police on Wednesday (21 March) after an all-night hotel siege at Essex. He was the third gunmen in three months to be killed by a policemen, and the force is concerned about the need for more and more policemen to be armed.
SYNOPSIS: When britain's first official police force had its beginnings a century and a half ago, founder Sir Robert Peel insisted his men should pound the best unarmed. The violent 1970's have changed that.
Just as this man gave himself up during a Scotland yard training exercise, so the police are surrendering to a growing policy of meeting armed force, with force. The truncheon it seems, is giving way to the gun.
Every day on London streets, police meet armed criminals, but until now only twenty percent of officers were trained to handle revolvers.
Scotland yard has been increasingly confronted by terrorist and criminal violence in recent years, right in the heart of London. The Balcombe Street siege for example...the Spaghetti House emergency...situations where criminals were not only heavily armed, but repeatedly using their weapons.
British policing has moved away from the long-time image of the unarmed 'bobby'. But still, policemen have orders to use firearms only in exceptional circumstances. A senior officer must give written permission before firearms can be used. When guns are used, police are taught to aim for the chest..the biggest target area on the body.
Still, the order don't mean the officer should shoot to kill. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Halsey says that his men are trained to stop a criminal, not necessarily to kill him.
In this situation, the armed policeman certainly had the upper hand. In the Essex hotel siege on Wednesday (21 March) the teenage gunmen had made it clear he had no intention of surrendering. The police claim they were forced to shoot him when he came out of the burning hotel firing an automatic shotgun.
Neither the leaders of the force, nor the Police Union are known to be happy at the trend towards widespread arming of the force. They stress that most policemen neve??? touch a gun... but they know how to use them if they have to.