The head of the Metropolitan Police will use his final speech to call for ‘more trust’ in armed police officers.
The Commissioner of the Met Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, is due to address the Royal United Services Institute today, Tuesday, February 14, and will call for greater public support for firearms officers when they deal with terrorists and armed criminals.
He is expected to say: “When people look at what we do, there should be less suspicion and more trust.
“This a dangerous place to be - in two ways. We simply don't have enough people now wanting to do these jobs. The failure rate in training is high.
"Secondly, we can't afford to have officers think twice because they fear the consequences of shooting someone.
"That's how they get shot, or the public gets hurt or a criminal gets away with a gun."
Sir Bernard is also due to reveal that Met officers went to incidents involving firearms over 3,300 times in 2016, without firing a single shot at a suspect.
However, he will also express concern that nearly 700 firearms were discovered in London last year, with 12 people shot dead by criminals.
The Commissioner ordered an extra 600 specialist firearms officers after the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015, but has expressed concerns about the treatment of officers who are involved in shootings after one was charged with murder and then acquitted in 2015.
So far over 400 extra officers have been trained or selected for specialist training. As those who volunteer face a demanding training course, which many do not pass, and those who retire need to be replaced, Sir Bernard will also highlight the importance of volunteers to the Met Police.