Only trained police officers at Lancashire Police carry firearms. There are 4 Armed Response Vehicles based around the county, on duty 24/7 staffed by teams of 10 PCs and 1 firearms sergeant.They still deal with a number of general policing issues like attending road traffic accidents, or arresting people for burglary or theft, but if an incident's reported where someone's carrying a firearm, then the firearms officers will make that incident a priority over the other work they're doing.
Responding to incidents
Sometimes people don't act responsibly and carry firearms in the full view of the public. This often results in lots of calls to the police who then have to respond, often using specialist firearms officers.
A lot of the weapons that people carry turn out to be BB guns, but the guns look so realistic that even experienced officers can't tell the difference. They can't afford to take a risk thinking it might not be real.
What does it take to be a Firearms Officer?
Along with all the training to become a police officer, a firearms officer has to carry out heaps of specialist training, which include:
- An 8 weeks firearms course
- A 4 week advanced driving course
- First aid training
Some Firearms Officers are also specifically trained in extra firearms work, like protecting VIPs or using other weapons, like long-range rifles.
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- The reassuring sight of police officers on horseback is evident across the county as mounted patrols support the Constabulary's commitment to neighbourhood policing