Armed police in the UK have been instructed to move swiftly towards terrorists so they can stop them from killing more people, while ignoring those who are injured or dying, even if they are their colleagues. The shift in tactics follows realisation that the aim of terror groups such as Islamic State (Isis) is to maximise casualties rather than negotiate.
Authorities have dumped the past strategy of restricting the movement of attackers by cordoning them off and starting negotiations. Assistant commissioner Patricia Gallan was quoted as saying by The Guardian: "We are asking them to do something different from what they did previously. It's not about standing back but about going forwards towards the threat. In that there may be casualties and in meeting that threat they will have to look over casualties that might have been injured and wait until it's safe for someone else to go and help."
Armed police and Met firearms officers are undergoing a 15-week counter-terrorism training programme in London intended to help them stop terror attacks like the ones carried out by the IS in Paris on 13 November in which 130 people lost their lives. To sharpen the skills of the officers, a training exercise was conducted on 1 December. The officers were instructed to storm a building while their colleagues posed as terrorists.
"The most important thing is to actually get to the threat and stop them killing additional people, and that is why we've got to keep going forward and not tend to those that are injured at the time," Gallan said, adding: "There has never been a shoot-to-kill policy. It is not the policy of British policing, nor will it be."
Armed-response vehicles increased
Meanwhile, armed response vehicles patrolling the streets of London have been increased following the Paris attacks. "We have additional armed-response vehicles on the streets of London. We've increased that as a result of Paris and I'm confident in London we can meet that threat," Gallan said. "Around the country, forces are reviewing their plans and I've confidence in their abilities too."