Met Police press ahead with plans for armed patrols
The Force came under criticism after it emerged the Metropolitan Police had not consulted with London mayor, Sadiq Khan, despite being accountable to him by law.
The proposals would see officers having weapons "weapons visible and accessible" on patrols in residential areas.
If carried out, London would join Northern Ireland as the only parts of the UK where police officers habitually carry firearms.
The Met's deputy commissioner, Sir Stephen House, denied that the decision would lead to "routine deployments" of armed officers in the capital.
“As part of our response to the increase in violent crime in London, we are examining how our armed officers can provide extra support and augment other units, either in response to a serious assault, or to be deployed to areas where we have intelligence that serious violence is imminent."
“Any deployments would be for a limited time only and done in consultation with local policing commanders, and after a community impact assessment had been carried out."
“Our consultation into the extended, yet limited, use of armed police is at an early stage. We will continue to work closely with a range of stakeholders as we discuss operational options in the fight against violence to help protect communities.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for the London Mayor said "Keeping Londoners safe is the mayor’s No 1 priority and the Met are constantly looking to update how they tackle violent crime."
“However, the mayor is crystal clear that armed officers on London’s streets must be the exception and cannot become the norm. He would expect full consultation on any decisions of this nature.”