Suella Braverman has ordered a review of armed policing after a large number of Metropolitan Police officers stepped back from firearms duties in the wake of a murder charge over a shooting.
The Home Secretary said firearms officers have to make “split-second decisions” and “mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties”.
Chris Kaba, 24, was unarmed when he was shot and killed in south London last year.
A Met Police officer appeared in court on Thursday in relation to the fatal shooting.
Senior officers, including Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley, have been meeting with firearms officers in recent days to reflect on the murder charge.
Scotland Yard acknowledged the situation had prompted “a number of officers” to “step back from armed duties while they consider their position”.
More than 100 police officers have handed in their tickets, an accreditation to permit them to carry firearms while on the job, according to the BBC.
To deal with the police walkout, officers from neighbouring forces stepped up to help patrol the capital on Saturday night.
That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all. 3/3
— Suella Braverman MP (@SuellaBraverman) September 24, 2023
Mrs Braverman said: “We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous and violent in society.
“In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.
“They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing and I will do everything in my power to support them.
“That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all.”
Meanwhile the Met is supporting officers who have stepped back from firearms duties to help them “fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have”, a spokesman said.
“The Met has a significant firearms capability and we continue to have armed officers deployed in communities across London as well as at other sites including Parliament, diplomatic premises, airports etc.”
Mr Kaba, 24, died in Streatham Hill, south-east London, in September last year after he was shot through an Audi car windscreen.
The officer accused of his murder, named only as NX121 after a district judge granted an anonymity order, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the Old Bailey on Thursday.