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Force increasing number of firearms officers

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Chief superintendent says geographical challenges mean uplift is necessary.


A force is increasing the number of firearms officers in order to deal with the geographical challenges it faces.

Devon and Cornwall Police announced it will increase the number of firearms officers by 36 – from 126 to 162.

Chief Superintendent Jim Nye, Commander for the Alliance Operations Department, said the move came after forces nationally reviewed their firearms capability in light of the Paris attacks.

“Devon and Cornwall Police recognised that due to the unique geography of the area, there are specific challenges that we face in relation to the timing of a response to any firearms incident,” he said.

“As a result and following conversations with the Home Office, we will be increasing our firearms officer numbers by 36. This will enable more Armed Response Vehicles (ARV units) to be made available 24 hours a day.”

He added when the officers are not responding directly to firearms incidents, they will be available to support 999 calls from the public and to support the Roads Policing Unit across Devon and Cornwall.

“I would like to personally reassure the public that this increase is not due to any intelligence relating to specific threats, and is purely as a recognition of the geographical challenges we face as a force,” he said

“In addition to this and thanks to our Strategic Alliance, in times of need further officers can also be made available from Dorset Police.”

Steve Gardner, Chairman of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation Sergeants’ Branch Board, said the organisation was “fully supportive” of the uplift.

“We had previously recruited for transferees but the force didn’t get a huge response, so there is also now internal recruitment for these roles as well,” he told PoliceOracle.com

“I don’t think the issue of the role being a risk for officers will be an issue, but the geography of the force could make it more difficult to fill them.”



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