'Police mustn't fear ending up in dock!' Met in crisis as armed police revolt and army drafted in

Armed police officers

Met Police plunged into crisis by firearms officers 'stepping back' en masse in protest

Mark White

By Mark White

Published: 24/09/2023

- 08:12

Updated: 25/09/2023

- 08:54

The Metropolitan police confirmed officers 'are worried about how the decision impacts on them, on their colleagues, and on their families'

The Home Secretary has launched a review into armed policing and spoken to the Metropolitan police Commissioner, after many firearms officers said they are stepping-back from armed duties.

The officers are protesting at what they perceive as a lack of support for firearms officers, after one of their colleagues was charged with murdering an unarmed black man in south London in September last year.

The move has plunged the Met's firearms unit into crisis, with armed officers from other forces being brought in to help police the Capital.

The Military have also been put on standby to help the Metropolitan police respond to any terror incident.

Chris Kaba

Chris Kaba was fatally shot in an armed police operation in south London in September last year

The Home Secretary has issued a message of support for armed officers and promised to find a way out of the current crisis.

Suella Braverman said: "We depend on our brave firearms officers, to protect us from the most dangerous and violent in society.

"In the interest of public safety, they have to make split second decisions under extraordinary pressures.

"They mustn't fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties.

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

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

On Thursday a Met police officer, known only as NX121 to protect his identity, appeared in court charged with murdering 24 year old Chris Kaba, who was fatally shot in an armed police operation.

The 24 year old was driving a car linked to a gun crime incident, when armed police stopped the vehicle in Streatham Hill on September 5 2022.

It was stopped in the Streatham Hill area of south London on the evening of September 5 last year.

During the operation to detain Kaba, an officer discharged his weapon, striking the young construction worker in the head. He died in hospital in the early hours of the next morning.

A firearms officer, known only as NX121 to protect his identity, appeared in court on Thursday charged with murder.

The move has enraged fellow armed officers, who believe it signals a change in the way their split second decisions will be judged, and exposes them to an increasing possibility of prosecution.

In one text exchange from a Specialist Firearms Officer, seen by GB News, the officer wrote: "Mass walk out mate. I've handed my ticket in. Only 8 CTSFOs have their cards out of 100. My whole team have handed it in."

The officer went on to say how he believed it was "disgraceful, how they treated him" in reference to the colleague facing a murder charge.

There has been real concern the protest action could spread within the Capital's firearms division and beyond.

In a statement, a Met police spokesperson said: "Senior officers, including the commissioner, have been meeting with firearms officers in recent days as they reflect on the CPS decision to charge NX121 with murder.

"Many are worried about how the decision impacts on them, the colleagues, and their families.

"A number of officers have taken the decision to step back from armed duties while the consider their position. That number has increased over the past 48 hours."

The Met has around 3,000 firearms officers across London.

As more decide to step back from armed duties, senior management are implementing contingency plans to draft in mutual aid from other forces.

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