The Times and Telegraph both spookily comment on the 'Americanisation' of our traditional way of policing, and I'm sorry, but that's just plain daft. In perspective there are a mere handful of armed response crews out and about on patrol in the UK, and this bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to any US policing model.
The argument trotted out by the supporters of the British model is that the British police are unique in the world because of its origin in British history, that they exist because of the 'will of the people', that they are the 'best in the world', that this is shown by the affection that the people have for them and that this is seen in the absence of weapons.
If we sent out thousands of Officers with firearms more of them would be put in situations where they have to decide to use them or not - late at night when they are tired when something in some ones hand might be a gun or might not be. This would surely lead to more people being shot even with the bets of training!