Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC praises police for forward-thinking plan to increase Firearms Officers
Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has praised the Force for an imaginative plan to provide increased firearms protection for the county by training up Roads Policing teams as a back-up.

Training started last autumn to increase the number of Firearms officers available across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire by 50 percent to boost the Firearms Policing Unit, which delivers the service as a tri-force.
 
However, she stressed this is a long-planned initiative and not a response to the recent terror atrocities in Manchester and London.

Commissioner Holloway, said: “The decision was taken to uplift the firearms capacity across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire in February last year and four courses took place in autumn 2016 for Roads Policing officers.
 
“Therefore, this is a well-considered, long-standing plan and not a reaction to the atrocities in Manchester and London, but suitable fore-planning.  This imaginative way of providing extra Firearms officers by training up suitably skilled Roads Policing officers, has my full support. 

“I am assured that there is no intention for them to replace firearms teams in day to day activity, but it does mean that the people of Bedfordshire have extra protection as a contingency to back-fill in the event that our frontline Firearms Units have to be deployed in a major incident."

 
The decision follows a successful scheme, where Roads Policing teams provide support as Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs), in Norfolk. It is a response to a direction to all forces from the Home Office to increase the numbers of Firearms officers, which was issued in 2016.