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Gun Crime

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of police officers in the UK are armed; and what proportion were armed in (a) 1979, (b) 1983, (c) 1987, (d) 1993, (e) 1997 and (f) 2001. [110593]

It is not possible to provide accurate figures in the form requested. However, the number of authorised firearms officers (AFOs) in police forces in England and Wales for years 1994–2001 are shown in the table. The figures do not take into account the more effective use and better training of authorised firearms officers.

Number of authorised firearms officers (AFOs)
1994–956,837
1995–966,554
1996–976,738
1997–986,585
1998–996,308
1999–20006,262
2000–016,064