Scotland Yard has said it is significantly raising the number of police officers after reassessing its ability to deal with a potential Paris-like terror attack in London.
The existing number of police officers is being raised by 600, taking the total number of armed officers to 2,800. The number of armed response vehicles is being doubled. Britain’s current threat level is “severe”, which indicates a terror threat is highly likely.
Scotland Yard had initiated a training programme after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “The tragic attacks in Paris reinforced the vital role that firearms officers would be called upon to play on behalf of all of us, to run forward and confront the deadly threat that such attackers would pose.
“In the days following Paris I asked my firearms team to increase the number of armed response vehicles available on our streets, which we did. Now I have decided that we take the steps to increase these numbers on a permanent basis,” he added.
The increase, however, will not change the fundamental principle that police in Britain are not routinely armed, Hogan-Howe said.
Scotland Yard said: “Armed response vehicle officers continue to receive training as part of their routine cycle to test the response to a marauding terrorist firearms attack. This programme of training was developed following the attacks in Mumbai in 2008 and continues to develop learning from incidents around the world.”