Armed police are to carry out routine patrols in London to combat gun carrying drug gangs.
In an unprecedented move for British policing a team of 18 constables armed with sub-machineguns, led by an inspector and two sergeants, will operate permanently in “hotspots” in Brixton, Haringey and Tottenham.
The officers, from the Met's Specialist Firearm Command SO19, will patrol estates and streets to prevent shootings and stabbings.
The move, which follows a 30 per cent surge in gun crime in London this year, will be the first time in Britain that armed officers have been put on permanent patrol. [emphasis added]
The officers — some on motorbikes — will be armed with Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machineguns capable of firing up to 800 rounds per minute and Glock semi-automatic pistols.
Article here. For more crime stats in "gun free" England, see this article:
... There were 9,974 gun crimes in 2001-2, including 97 fatalities and 558 serious injuries. Of these gun crimes, 4,192 took place in the capital.
Handguns were used in 5,871 crimes and robberies involving firearms increased by 34 per cent. In most cases, the guns were used simply to threaten and were not fired. Talks hosted by Home Secretary David Blunkettare to take place tomorrow on combating gun crime. The figures are all the more alarming because they show that the use of handguns has more than doubled since the weapons were outlawed in 1997 after Dunblane. [emphasis added]
Police recorded 5.79 million offences in the year to September 2002, compared to an annual figure of 5.3 million in the previous 12 months.
Home Office statisticians say "the trend in overall crime continues to be flat" when the new counting rules are taken into account. But the latest national figures showed violence against the person up 19 per cent, sex offences up 18.2 per cent, robbery up 14.5 per cent and drug offences up 12.3 per cent on the previous 12 months. ...
What's the old saying? When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.