New Nottinghamshire police team armed with guns to prevent serious crime
A new armed police team has been set up in Nottinghamshire in an attempt to prevent criminals bringing weapons and drugs into the county.
For the first time outside of the armed response unit, specially trained officers will be armed with weapons as part of the new new roads crime policing team to target serious criminal activity across Nottinghamshire.
Armed police will be used in the force’s operational support department to predominantly to prevent criminals bringing weapons and drugs into the county and keep the area safe.
Officers will work alongside Operation Reacher teams who work in each of the county’s neighbourhoods to support local anti-crime initiatives.
The armed team will patrol Nottinghamshire's road network and stop vehicles suspected to be involved in criminality, while working with surveillance and intelligence teams to target criminality.
Superintendent Claire Rukas, head of operational support, said: "This is about targeting serious crime before it's got the opportunity to land on our door step and to prevent there from even being a victim in the first place.
“There has not been an increase in crime, weapons or violence and this is nothing for the public to feel alarmed about.”
"We want criminals to know that they won't have anywhere to hide in Nottinghamshire and we will have the right tactics available to seek them out and put a stop to their activities.
"We are delighted to have been granted this extra resource and we are going to be using it to the best of our abilities in order to keep our people even safer."
"Clearly the people behind these offences can be dangerous and it's important that officers are protected and have the right tactics available to them.
"The additional resource will work with the proactive policing teams that have been introduced into communities via Operation Reacher and provide the specialist tactics that are sometimes required to respond to community concerns."
The team is being made available as a result of Operation Uplift – a national drive to recruit more police officers, after Supt Rukas successfully bid for a Nottinghamshire allocation.
More officers will be recruited over the year to join the road policing team to promote road safety and provide specialist support by policing motorways and major roads.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire Paddy Tipping added: "The armed officers were needed in case there was a terror attack in the city or county but to also ensure those who carry guns are arrested quickly.
"The government has made extra money available for the past two to three years for more armed response vehicles.
"They have gone to areas of greatest risk such as London.
"We benefited a bit here but not much.
"Terrorism is a real and immediate threat.
"I have been arguing for some time we need more armed officers in Nottinghamshire and this is the way we are doing it.
"If there is a terrorist incident it is important to get there quickly.
"There are a number of response vehicles in Nottinghamshire but Nottinghamshire is a big county and it will take them time to get there. Having a greater armed response keeps people safer.
"The focus will also be on (criminals carrying) weapons rather than drugs."