Police Federation leader calls for more armed officers in Portsmouth

6/4/2016 (BF)

John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation.

Picture: Sarah Standing (160563-567) PPP-160604-155352001
6/4/2016 (BF) John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation. Picture: Sarah Standing (160563-567) PPP-160604-155352001

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PORTSMOUTH needs more armed police officers, according to the chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation.

John Apter says that despite Hampshire Police training more armed officers to be based in the city, the number is still not enough.

Mr Apter was speaking after the Metropolitan Police announced plans yesterday to bring in 600 additional marksmen in London to combat any potential terror threat in the capital.

He said: ‘We are set to see a modest increase in the number of armed officers in Portsmouth and across Hampshire.

‘However, this is unlikely to be a noticeable change.

‘If the public do notice them, they should be reassured and not concerned.’

Mr Apter said that he had long campaigned for more officers, with an additional 1,500 marksmen set to be brought in nationally over the next two years.

He added: ‘From my perspective, it’s not enough.

‘The risk of an attack is severe and we must be prepared.

‘Having more armed officers will help us react better to an attack.’

The latest Home Office figures show there are 5,639 firearms officers in forces across England and Wales.

This is decrease of eight from the previous year.