The Compelling Reason For All Met Police Officers To Be Armed

27 March 2017, 08:47 | Updated: 27 March 2017, 10:05

Should Met Police officers be armed following the Westminster attack? This former officer has one brilliant reason why all police should carry guns.

Tony Long was one of the Met's top marksmen and was cleared of murder a decade after he shot suspected armed robber Azelle Rodney.

And after Khalid Masood killed four people in his attack on Westminster Bridge and outside the Houses of Parliament, Mr Long believes officers will be better prepared to stop terrorists if they are armed.

Masood turned left after Westminster Bridge and ran into the Parliamentary Estate, where there are many armed officers. But if he turned right and headed up Whitehall, it could have been a long time before he was stopped.

And Mr Long revealed it look armed police 15 minutes to attend the murder of Lee Rigby, meaning unarmed cops had to leave the public to do their job.

He said: "The situation we have at present where all police officers or majority of officers are unarmed I don't think can go on for much longer. The problem is if you make firearms officers a specialisation, it's always the case that when you require them, they're not in the right place at the right time. 

"It took 15 minutes for the closest armed response vehicle to get to Woolwich when Lee Rigby was killed. That meant the local unarmed officers had to stand behind the incident tape and watch the public do their job for them.

"Attacks will always take place, and it's how quickly we can cope with that attack.

"In the situation on Wednesday, the suspect very kindly ran from having caused all the carnage on the bridge directly to the one building in the UK where you are guaranteed to get shot.

"If he'd have done that carnage at the other end of Whitehall, it would have taken armed police ages to find him and then dispatch him, so you need more armed officers."