HC Deb 25 April 1989 vol 151 cc524-5W
Mr. Sims

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many operations firearms were issued to police officers in England and Wales in 1988; in how many of those operations shots were fired by police officers; how many police officers are currently qualified to carry firearms; and what were the equivalent figures for each of the previous five years.

Mr. Hurd

Information relating to the police use of firearms in operations against criminals or others known or believed to be armed in the years in question is given in the table.

Year Number of operations Number of times shots fired Number of authorised firearms officers
1983 3,180 3 13,044
1984 2,667 6 11,873
1985 2,488 7 10,244
1986 2,453 1 8,395
1987 2,185 7 7,349
1988 2,227 2 7,194

The figures show that over five years the police have been issuing and using firearms less often. The figures show the continuing determination of the Government and of chief officers of police that the police use of firearms should remain a measure of the last resort, and that traditional methods of policing should continue.

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