News that a Police officer in his police car was five times over the legal alcohol limit for driving begs the question: was it a brief lapse while on duty, or is it an example of total fear of being inadequately trained and likely to be confronted by (unlicensed) armed offenders?
That is the question put by the President of the Sporting Shooters Assn Neville Dodd. He says the police are facing unacceptable odds in an armed confrontation where the odds are stacked against them. “How can an officer confidently face up to another armed person when they have had very little training in handling their firearm and will have to deal with life – and career – threatening consequences.”
He says the criminals armed with illegal firearms do care about training, they are usually full of adrenaline and full of confidence believing, in their minds, that they will out-shoot the police. “It has become very obvious that the users of illegal firearms, (and the Police have only a vague idea who they are or where the weapons are), have the upper hand.”
Dodd says he can understand the pressure the frontline Police are feeling. “We really feel for those men and women. At any moment while on duty, they are likely to be called into a situation and be faced with an armed offender who will not hesitate to pull the trigger and take them out.”
He says being drunk on duty and driving a Police car in that state is something that needed to be addressed, and it has been, but he suggests it may very well be a product of the stress all police officers are under.
“Personally, I would not want to face the things the officers face. Those in the armed forces are rigorously trained in facing armed adversaries, but our frontline Police officers are given only a few days of training and gun handling, with limited bullets to shoot, each year.
I suggest the Government compares the armed forces regimes to the Police training, and ask themselves the hard questions. Especially as most of the armed forces are not facing armed situations, on an almost daily basis as the Police are.”