When I was young I thought the world would increasingly become more sinister and dangerous. I genuinely expected to grow up living in a world where the police were armed like soldiers. And I dreaded that happening.
But last week at a train station I saw coppers brandishing automatic weapons and I felt safe and relaxed. The machine guns weren’t intimidating - they were actually reassuring.
On that day I started to understand that a specially trained and highly visible protection force could do great things in public places - and be great news for the law abiding public. For this reason I want to see a more guns in more public places.
Of course we've had this armed presence at airports for many years now but I'd like to see that presence extended to other places where large numbers of the public gather: exactly where terrorists consider causing atrocities
That armed presence would remind the public to be vigilant about the risk of terrorism and would also make it clear to potential foes that we are no longer soft on threats. It tells terrorist sympathisers that we’ll deal with you – fast.
Sometimes it does feel that western governments aren’t on top of the new perils our culture and our people face. Certainly in the past western governments have been way too tolerant and slow to act against those who want to damage our people and way of life. So a new and more visibly strong police presence would show everyone that the rules have changed - in favour of the decent majority.
I totally understand that the British public generally doesn't like the idea of an armed police force - I agree and accept that. But in this new and dangerous era we do need a specially trained department to keep us safe in certain locations and situations.
I’m sad to say that I fully expect to see terrorist acts in our country in the coming months – stopping terrorism completely will take a long time.
But we can help this awful situation with the right visibly forceful messages of armed police in public places.
Thanks for reading this.