I have massive sympathy for our brave counter-terror firearms officers who have handed their weapons in after a colleague was charged with murder.
It is an incredibly strong statement but, given that it is an active case, that is about the only statement that can be made on the specific circumstances that led up to that murder charge.
What I can say though is that I think this will have devastating consequences for our society and our safety.
One armed policing source told GB News: "Virtually everyone on Armed Response Vehicles has asked for a period of reflection.
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"There were two cars out last night instead of 15. It’ll be the same tonight… maybe."
Armed officers from other forces have refused to cover, even those, we understand, from the City of London police, as well as firearms instructors.
In fact, firearms instructors have handed their badges in as well, so training for new firearms officers may stop from next week.
Under the law, armed police officers have the right to discharge a firearm to make a lawful arrest, defend themselves from unlawful violence and to protect others from harm - if they have reasonable grounds for believing there is an imminent danger to life.
But the European Convention of Human Rights only allows "the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary".
And that is the grey area that our incredibly brave firearms officers have to operate in. Was that split second decision you made under the most intense scenario imaginable ‘absolutely necessary’ and all of this, of course, is analysed in the cold light of day, slowed down, a bit like VAR in football…
If I was a firearms officer now, and a colleague had been charged with murder, I would hand my weapon in. But I am going to ask something of them, and I hope that it’s taken in the right way:
Please, please, please get back to work. Please go back in now you’ve made a point and pick your guns up and carry on protecting the public. The overwhelming majority of us are incredibly grateful for what you do, we cherish the role you play in keeping us safe and protected and we support you.
Several armed police have stepped down from duty
The public are not to blame for criminal charged being brought against one of your colleagues, or for the way your management treats you. We just want to be kept safe.
I can’t sit here and dish it out to junior doctors or consultants who strike and then people die in hospitals and not say that, whilst I have every sympathy with firearms officers, I think it’s wrong that people may now die because there are almost none of you out there.
Is this not a green light for terrorists?
I’ll just say it one more time to these heroes: Completely understand what you’re saying, completely get what point you’re making, and most people will probably agree with it. But please, pick your guns back up and take care of some bad guys for us.