MoD offers armed officers to Met as Braverman backs firearms cops who hand in weapons after Chris Kaba murder charge

24 September 2023, 18:18 | Updated: 24 September 2023, 19:07

Army support has been offered to the Met after a protest following an armed police officer being charged with the murder of Chris Kaba
Army support has been offered to the Met after a protest following an armed police officer being charged with the murder of Chris Kaba. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Military forces could be drafted in to help police as armed officers hand in their guns after a serving officer was charged with the murder of Chris Kaba.

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Kaba was killed by a single bullet in a shooting in Streatham Hill on September 6 last year. He was unarmed.

The father-to-be's death sparked protests against the police as his family called for justice over the 24-year-old's death.

Cops have now started their own protest, with some officers concerned about how the charge affects them, their colleagues, and families.

A Met Police spokesperson said: "The Ministry of Defence has agreed to a request to provide the Met with counterterrorism support should it be needed.

"This is a contingency option that would only be used in specific circumstances and where an appropriate policing response was not available.

"Armed forces personnel will not be used in a routine policing capacity. We will keep the need for the support under constant review."

One armed cop, who is on "reflective leave", told LBC that senior figures at the Met are not supportive enough and have taken a "combative" stance against protestors.

Ms Braverman has now intervened, expressing her support for those on "reflective leave".

"Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing and I will do everything in my power to support them," the home secretary said.

"That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all."

This police officer tells of the lack of 'support' for Met officers

The MoD has offered armed officers to the Met as a contingency plan
The MoD has offered armed officers to the Met as a contingency plan. Picture: Getty

"We are in ongoing discussions with those officers to support them and to fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have," a Met spokesperson said.

"The Met has a significant firearms capability and we continue to have armed response teams deployed in communities across London to keep the public safe."

Read More: Armed cops in Met Police hand in weapons in protest after officer charged with murder of Chris Kaba

An anonymous officer who is on "reflective leave" told LBC the police force is not being supportive of those who have taken the decision to step back, adding that some senior managers have taken a "combative" stance.

"We understand as armed officers in London that if we have to take that ultimate action that justice has to be seen to be done, and that our actions will come under the most forensic of scrutiny," he told LBC.

"However, under Mark Rowley and the senior leadership team, we are just not getting the right level of support to be able to do that job.

"It's almost being treated with detriment that we've decided to take this period of reflection and so in terms of being supporting and listening to us, that's not correct I'm afraid."

Protests erupted after Chris Kaba's death
Protests erupted after Chris Kaba's death. Picture: Alamy

"We are in ongoing discussions with those officers to support them and to fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have," the Met spokesperson added.

"The Met has a significant firearms capability and we continue to have armed response teams deployed in communities across London to keep the public safe."

Read More: Police officer charged with murdering Chris Kaba released on bail

Raed More: Police officer charged with murder after shooting of Chris Kaba in south London

Commissioner of the Met Sir Mark Rowley has said he understood why officers had taken the decision to reflect on "such weighty responsibilities".

"Our firearms officers... are not only prepared to confront the armed and dangerous to protect London's communities but they do so recognising the uniquely intense and lengthy personal accountability they will face for their split-second operational decisions," Sir Mark said in a statement.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley. Picture: Getty

"I understand why many of them are reflecting on the potential price of such weighty responsibilities.

"Bravery comes in many forms. When officers have the levels of uncertainty and worry I saw in my colleagues today, simply going in and doing their jobs not knowing what incidents are ahead of them is courageous."

The police officer who was charged with Mr Kaba's murder has not been named publicly.

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