Should The Police In The UK Be Armed?

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BEFORE I START LET ME TELL YOU GUYS SOMETHING! THIS WAS A SCHOOL PROJECT I DONE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN MY MODERN STUDIES QUALIFICATION! IT MAY BE A LITTLE OUT DATED BY 1-2 YEARS.

INTRODUCTION
The topic I have chosen to do my added value unit on is ‘should the police in the UK be armed?’. I have chosen to do this because of the recent terror threats to the United Kingdom by terrorist organisations in 2015. My aims for this AVU is to find out if people think arming the police in the UK would help reduce crime and if it would make the public feel safer or if it would make the public scared of police officers. In addition to that my last aim is to find out if there is a difference in the crimes rates of countries that have armed police compared to the countries that don’t.

RESEARCH METHODS
To research my chosen topic of ‘should the police in the UK be armed?’ I decided to create a poll that I could send out to the public via social media which gave me 93 responses. I chose to create a poll so I could get un-biased responses from a wider group of people. I also looked at and read various news articles on my topic. This method was accessible as well as the information being up to date. Lastly I performed an internet search and accessed various websites which included debating sites. I chose to research on the internet because there is a wide selection of information available which would help me to see both sides of the debate.

While I was using the various research methods I managed to access lots of valuable information as well as being able to find out other people’s opinions from the poll. I also found the poll an easy way to gather responses especially through social media as family and friends shared the poll which increased the amount of people that could respond. During my research on the internet I found it difficult to make sure I was gathering reliable information and this was time consuming because I had to read through full articles. In research I carry out in the future I would give myself more time to gather information and would rephrase some questions or add in space for people to add in their own thoughts and opinions.

FINDINGS
My first aim was to see if the public thinks that arming the police in the UK would help to reduce crime. The response I got on my poll showed me that a small majority of people think that arming the police in the UK would not help to reduce crime. (You can see the results of this question below)
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Through further research on the BBC News website I have also found a discussion where people shared their views on the subject. Many people believe that if the police officers were armed then it would provoke criminals to use firearms. On the other hand some people think that the police should be armed so that they can protect themselves if they are in a threatening situation.

My second aim was to find out if people would feel safer if the police were armed. This was another question that I asked in my poll and again there was a very small majority of people that said no. (You can see the results of this question below)

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On the Debate.org website there was also many opinions on this question. Some people said that they would feel less safe as the police might use it as a way to intimidate people however other had said that it would make them feel safer as it would act as a deterrent for criminals.

My final aim was to compare countries who have armed police with other countries that don’t and to see if this makes a difference on their crime rates. In my research I have found that countries who don’t have armed police appear to have lower crime rates than countries that do. (This has been described within the Washington Post website) For example, in America citizens can carry a firearm and police are armed and their crime rate is higher than Iceland. In Iceland around a third of their citizens carry a firearm but the police remain unarmed but even though this is the case their crime rates are very low.

CONCLUSION
Through researching this topic I have discovered that the debate of whether the police should be armed or not is well argued on both sides.
I have come to the conclusion that arming the police would benefit the officers because they would be better equipped to deal with high pressure situations. On the Police Scotland website they have commented that ‘Officers are now able at the start of each shift to attach their weapons so that if an incident does require their support, they are already equipped and not working against time to arm themselves in a high-pressure situation.’ However, I do think that the police may lose the trust of communities if they were to become armed as the public may start to feel intimidated and nervous around them. The police would have to work hard to gain the public’s trust and support for this work successfully.

CONCLUSION
Through researching this topic I have discovered that the debate of whether the police should be armed or not is well argued on both sides.
I have come to the conclusion that arming the police would benefit the officers because they would be better equipped to deal with high pressure situations. On the Police Scotland website they have commented that ‘Officers are now able at the start of each shift to attach their weapons so that if an incident does require their support, they are already equipped and not working against time to arm themselves in a high-pressure situation.’ However, I do think that the police may lose the trust of communities if they were to become armed as the public may start to feel intimidated and nervous around them. The police would have to work hard to gain the public’s trust and support for this work successfully.

LINKS TO WEBSITES USED IN AVU
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/1156341.stm
http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-police-forces-be-armed-under-all-circumstances
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/02/18/5-countries-where-police-officers-do-not-carry-firearms-and-it-works-well/
(Police statement)
http://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/police-scotland/armed-policing/armed-policing-in-scotland

Thanks For Reading guys, Let me know your opinions below!

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