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Letter: We’ve Already Been a Terrorist Target, So Armed Patrols Make Sense

Published on: 29 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 29 Sep, 2020

From: Dave Middleton

In response to: Random Armed Police Patrols Will Not Protect Us

I wish to point out “random armed patrols” were deployed to tackle the 2017 London Bridge and Borough Market attack that left eight dead and 48 injured, four of them unarmed police officers who tried to stop the three terrorists.

But for the ready availability of those “random patrols”, many more victims could have been killed or maimed. How quickly some people forget.

Just because such attacks may be rare, doesn’t mean they couldn’t happen here. Let’s not forget, Guildford has already been targeted by terrorists.

Those armed officers were on foot in the centre of the county town of Surrey. Terrorists don’t commit their atrocities in a wooded glade in the middle of nowhere. They go for big-impact areas in population centres, just like the middle of Guildford and such towns, so it makes sense for armed police to be deployed to patrol there, if for nothing more than deterrent value.

Exactly how does Mr Roberts base his assertion that the armed police pictured were patrolling randomly? Does he have special access to the security service and police intelligence database?

For those so quick to criticise police actions and tactics from their routine, safe little day-to-day bubbles, I have seen outside such bubbles. I have seen the evil that men do at first hand and it’s not pleasant.

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Responses to Letter: We’ve Already Been a Terrorist Target, So Armed Patrols Make Sense

  1. David Roberts Reply

    September 29, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    I don’t think Dave Middleton and I disagree about this.

    Where there is intelligence of a specific threat, or a heightened level of general threat, (as in the case he cites of tourist locations like London Bridge and Borough Market) armed patrols seem like a good deterrent. They are far from routine or random.

    But in the case of Guildford, a police spokesman told Get Surrey “armed police officers from Surrey and Sussex continue to carry out routine patrols”. Note: “routine”. Surrey’s chief constable then tells The Dragon “each armed patrol is specifically tasked”: I hope all patrols are – armed or not. But if the deployment of armed police was in response to a threat, and not random, why not just say so? We don’t need to know the operational details.

    Statements like this won’t do. Armed police patrols are a serious matter, or at least should be if we have not become numbed to them. What’s the policy – are they routine or not? Maybe our elected PCC can enlighten us?

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