The debate about arming police in the UK continues - the Metropolitan Police Federation has announced that they are going to survey their membership about whether they would want to be armed in the future.
This seems to be a very good idea since asking officers to carry guns becomes even more of an issue if the police themselves don't want to carry guns - as they have indicated in past polls.
Of course this is all debated against a background of a high level threat of terrorism in the UK. Sooner or later we will experience another terrorist incident in this country - wether that involves lorries being driven at people or a lone person with a gun or someone with a back-pack full of explosives.
The debate always - quickly - goes from arming more specialist police to arming all police - all hundred thousand of them.
I don't think we should arm all police since it would involve putting thousands of guns on British streets everyday - we would go from a low number of specialist - well trained officers - to arming all police men and women whatever their aptitudes and skills and this is not a neutral thing and is not something that we could reverse in the future.
I am safely retired now and todays frontline officers should have their say - but I glad that I was not armed when I was in the police. There were a good number of confrontations I was involved it which may have turned out badly if I had to carry a gun.
Mostly these situations were the fault of the other person - some of the situations I could have dealt with better and sometimes - in some ways I caused more tension than I need to have. This was sometimes about being tired a two o clock in the morning about not listening about not talking more - stuff you learn on the job as your go.
Either way, what ended in a scuffle and an arrest could have ended in a shooting because if I had a gun.
I would have had to protect it - grabbing hold of someone and stopping them doing any more harm would involve a firearm every time - would the person grab the gun? Would I have felt obliged to stay back and point the gun at the person because grabbing them would have been a greater hazard for both of us than before?
Once a gun is pointed at someone - it becomes a very dangerous situation.
Would all police officers being armed actually stop a tourist incident happening? Well - it could of course - but terrorism occurs in many countries where the police are armed - in France - in Turkey and the USA.
Judging by reports on the attack in Nice, France - where a lorry was driven at people - armed police could not stop the lorry despite the efforts of some brave officers - perhaps concrete blocks could have. An armed response is not always an answer.
Sadly - we will suffer terrorism in the future and arming all police officers will still be a bad idea although the demand from the public could be very strong for arming everyone.
I share the same low risk of being a victim of terrorism as do most other citizens in this country - it is a very low risk.
At some stage soon politicians and senior police officers will have to resist intense pressure to arm all police officers and they must resist it because it may do more harm than good and will change the publics relationship with police for ever.Suggest a correction