By Connor Steel
HOME SECRETARY Suella Braverman has announced an urgent review into armed policing after dozens of officers in London handed in their weapons as a marksman was charged with murder; the move seeing Fareham MP facing mass criticism and accusations of interfering in a live criminal investigation following her comments made on the “X” platform.
It comes after a Metropolitan Police officer appeared in court on Thursday charged with the murder of Chris Kaba back in September 2022. The inquest was told that the twenty-four year old was killed by a gunshot that was fired inside the vehicle he was driving and his death was confirmed the following day; seeing huge protests across London as a result.
This update has raised concern amongst Metropolitan Police officers and it is believed that approximately one hundred have surrendered their ‘tickets’, which gives them the rights to carry weapons. An official statement outlined their fears that this charge “signals a shift in the way the decision they take in the most challenging circumstances will be judged”.
The force have confirmed that armed officers were being deployed as a contingency measure from local areas and this will continue until it is ‘not required’, particularly with sporting and other events this week. The Ministry of Defence have confirmed in a statement on Sunday evening (24/09) that they have placed the army onto standby to support if needed.
This latest intervention was requested by the Home Office using a request known as Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA), which was last used during the 2022 strikes and the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows earlier comments from the Home Secretary made on Sunday morning on the situation, in which she ordered a review and offered her full backing.
She shared a clickable link to a Telegraph news article and commented in her online social media post made at around 9:30am on “X” (formerly Twitter): “We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous and violent in society. In interests of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.”
The Fareham MP continued to state that: “They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing and I will do everything in my power to support them. That’s why I have launched a (new Government) review to ensure they have the confidence to do their job while protecting us all.”
But these comments were immediately criticised with voters accusing this Home Secretary of “attempting to muster up a culture war” that wasn’t needed, whilst others said that Ms Braverman had undermined this ongoing criminal case by “interfering” and offering “political based” analysis that could potentially be capable of amounting to ‘contempt of court’.
Comparisons have been drawn to comments made by ex-Home Secretary Priti Patel in 2020 as she tweeted about the deaths of 39 migrants in Essex; the criminal trial halted as a result before resuming. In this case the jurors were told to ignore the comments and two people were eventually found guilty of manslaughter following the trial at the ‘Old Bailey’.
Readers are encouraged to explore media links like BBC News, Sky News and ITV News for fresh developing updates on the breaking story; whilst the Home Secretary is due to speak at the ‘2023 Tory Party Conference’ from October 1-4.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2RXB9EF): Armed police have been supported by Home Secretary but it has caused criticism.