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Diplomatic Service: Security Guards

Volume 490: debated on Thursday 26 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what diplomatic protocols govern the possession of arms by foreign nationals assigned to provide security for their nationals whilst in the UK. (264436)

The operational responsibility for protecting foreign VIPs in Great Britain lies with the Metropolitan Police. Separate arrangements are in place for Northern Ireland.

Requests received from foreign nationals to carry firearms whilst in Great Britain are referred to the Home Office who will consider the request, in the light of a risk assessment by the Metropolitan Police. If authority is granted, the foreign officers must work at all times under the direction of the Metropolitan Police when they are carrying their weapons.