Mayor attends firearms training and hails 400 more armed police posts

12 May 2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today (Thursday) attended a Metropolitan Police armed response training exercise in central London, as he met the Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, to discuss London’s ability to deal with major terrorist incidents.

The Mayor and Commissioner welcomed the news that 600 police officers have volunteered to put themselves in the line of fire and undertake firearms training, as part of plans to boost the number of armed officers available to protect the capital from gun crime and terrorism. Around 400 newly trained firearms officers will be ready to be deployed as soon as April next year .

The announcement comes ahead of a full terror preparedness review, which Sadiq Khan pledged in his manifesto.

The Mayor and Commissioner today discussed the remit and scale of the review, with more details expected to be announced over the coming days. The review will involve the Metropolitan Police Service, the London Fire Brigade, the NHS, local authorities, TfL, the Port of London and the RNLI, and will ensure London is ready to deal with a major terrorist incident.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“Nothing is more important to me than keeping Londoners safe. As a dad, I worry about my daughters' safety as they go about our city – as I worry about all Londoners.

“It was reassuring to see our brave, dedicated and incredibly skilled armed response officers in action.

“I want to thank every Met officer who has volunteered to put themselves on the frontline of protecting Londoners and am pleased that London will have around 400 more armed response officers as soon as April next year.

“It was good to get started with Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe on the hard work of our full terror preparedness review.”

The Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said:

"We have been very successful at preventing terrorist attacks in the UK in recent years - thanks to close work with communities, good intelligence and diligent investigation.

“But we need to ensure we can respond as quickly and effectively as possible to the terrorists' latest tactics and that is why I ordered an increase in firearms officers here in London.

"The officers who do this dangerous and difficult work are all volunteers and paid no more than their unarmed colleagues. I think we should all be grateful to them for the risks they take on our behalf."

Notes to editors

  • Following the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe asked for plans to be developed to increase the number of firearms officers.
  • This is alongside an uplift in weapons and equipment to ensure firearms officers are equipped with the latest and most appropriate equipment.