It is time to arm all our police officers
Sir, I refer to Martin Laing’s At Random column ( The Oban Times, June 15) regarding terrorism and the police response capability in our area.
I feel we have reached a point in time where we must routinely arm all police officers. Yes, the risk is that great. They must have firearms available to protect themselves and the public.
Specialist units are too far distant in many rural areas of the UK and probably more so in Scotland. An immediate and ruthless response is necessary to counter any potential or real terrorist threat. I agree the eight-minute response time in London proves the point that lives must have been saved.
It is time for the politicians to stop sitting on the fence and grasp the nettle. The time for being politically correct and tolerant is long past and the public demands action now.
The police, security, emergency and intelligence services do a fantastic job in this country and the public should appreciate this. However, we need to up our game and move to a much higher level of preparedness to counter the potential or real threat from these odious creatures.
Perhaps an even more controversial option which should be considered is the granting of powers by central government allowing the police to recruit and form locally-based volunteer militia units, trained in the use of firearms and deployed in emergency situations under the control of the police or army.
The terrorist is among us, especially in the large UK cities, but, without appearing to be alarmist, we must always be watchful and avoid complacency on our patch.
The terrorist is a despotic degenerate creature who should be treated accordingly. ‘When you have to fight a beast, you must treat it as a beast’ in the words of US President Harry Truman in the last year of the Second World War in the Pacific.
Let us hope the politicians can raise their game to meet the challenge. Robert MacCallum, by email.