Det. Cst. Ian Talbot, of the Nottinghamshire Police, talks to Det. Cst. Shawn Devine, of the North Bay Police Service during a visit to the city this week.
More bobbies in the United Kingdom are carrying guns, but nowhere to the extent of American and Canadian coppers, says a British police officer.
Dt. Cst. Ian Talbot, of the Nottinghamshire Police, was in North Bay this week and spent a day visiting the North Bay Police Service.
His wife Linzi, who works with the Office of Fair Trading, in London, was also in town to visit Phone Busters.
Talbot, who has been seconded for a year to Britain’s National Crime Squad, said English police, for the most part, don’t carry guns.
“Certain officers do. I’m actually trained in fire arms but we don’t carry them unless we’re on a special operation where we think guns are involved,” Talbot said.
“But it’s creeping in more and more, and there are officers permanently armed.”
Slightly rocky road
The Nottinghamshire Police, Talbot said, which employs 2,500 sworn and civilian members, has a unit of 12 police personnel who are armed and respond to firearms incidents.
“Things are changing and it still is a slightly rocky road, but who knows once it starts gather momentum, particularly now that we’re having problems with gang shootings,” Talbot said.
“We just have been brought up in the country not to have guns and not have a gun culture. America is far worse than here and you‘re sort of in-between in Canada. But we still don’t perceive it as that much of a problem, perhaps more of a fear than an actual problem.”
Drug addiction and crack cocaine have become major problems in Nottinghamshire and its major city Nottingham, Talbot said.
“There’s a big problem with illegal Jamaican immigrants in Nottingham for some reason, and they’re called Yardie Gangs,” Talbot said, “and basically 95 per cent of the thefts and break and enters in our area are drug related so people can get the money to buy drugs, which is basically the root cause of our crime problem.”