NPCC response to anonymity decision on firearms officer
Today, the court has decided that the anonymity for officer NX121 will be partially lifted, resulting in the name and date of birth of officer NX121 being in the public domain. Their address, image and any detailed description will continue to be protected.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Armed Policing, Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, said: “Whilst we respect the decision of the court, we also recognise the impact and concern this will have on all officers but in particular armed officers nationally. We will reflect upon the implications this has for policing.
“As an unarmed police service we rely on police officers to volunteer for these highly skilled, difficult and dangerous roles. Authorised Firearms Officers perform a uniquely challenging and important role, making life changing decisions in a split-second. There is the essential need for transparency and accountability which every officer accepts however, there is a clear need for sufficient protection to enable officers to do their job and keep the public safe, with confidence that such scrutiny will be applied consistently, clearly, and in a timely manner.
“We know for many police officers the balance presently does not feel right; therefore, it is vital for officers and the public alike to have the confidence that the processes by which police are held to account when carrying out their duties are fair, proportionate and timely. This is why we welcome the Home Office Accountability Review, and we will be working closely with the Home Office to help get this review concluded swiftly.
“Officers come to work every day and put the public’s safety first and foremost in anything they do. Keeping our policing colleagues and communities safe, across the UK, remains our priority.”