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. 
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)|