Armed police snipers trained to shoot DEAD terror truck drivers after Westminster attack

AFP / GETTY

SHOOT TO KILL: Armed cops have been ordered to eliminate terror truck drivers

Elite marksmen have been given new assault rifles ready to eliminate terrorists who get behind the wheel in a bid to cause a bloodbath. It comes just weeks after Khalid Masood’s murderous Westminster rampage which claimed the lives of five people including police officer Keith Palmer. Firearms officers received specialist training as part of new “aggressive tactics” amid fears of copycat attacks.

Westminster terror attack: the aftermath

Thursday, 23rd March 2017As the nation comes to terms with what happened, the police continue to work tirelessly to find out how this could have happenedAn armed police office stands guard in WhitehallGetty ImagesAn armed police office stands guard in Whitehall

The powerful new weapons can accurately penetrate windscreens and the bodywork of moving vehicles suspected to be involved in terror attacks.

Simon Chesterman, who is in charge of firearms policing, revealed how the UK would have the most “potent” armed response in modern times. Mr Chesterman said: “We used to talk about not shooting at a moving vehicle because of the danger we might cause if we fired at a driver. “But if the vehicle is being used as a weapon in the first place, there aren’t many tactics available in relation to stopping it, particularly a very large lorry.

“Driving a vehicle in front of it for example is not going to stop it. So you need to shoot the driver. “We have the ability to move much quicker to resolve situations.

“Previously the approach was to locate, contain and neutralise. Now it is to locate and confront. “Our tactics are more aggressive.”

GETTY

ATROCITY: The aftermath of the Berlin Christmas market attack

The Stockholm terror attack in pictures

Friday, 7th April 2017Live images: Truck rams into crowds in central StockholmTwitterRelated videos

“Driving a vehicle in front of it… is not going to stop it.

So you need to shoot the driver.”

Firearms chief Simon Chesterman

Elite units will now be equipped with the lightweight SIG 516 assault rifle which fires 5.56m Nato rounds. Mr Chesterman, head of armed policing for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, admitted getting the right ammo to smash through vehicles had been “a challenge”. “We have seen some horrible and different tactics lately using vehicles and lorries,” he added.

“As far as our training is concerned that is no different to any other tactics that we use and the weaponry that the officers carry now has the ability to penetrate doors and windows. “One of the biggest challenges to us is penetrating glass accurately and vehicle glass clearly has a variety of different makes and consistency. “I am confident that with the work we have done and the ammunition we carry, an armed response vehicle officer has the ability to fire at the cab of a lorry to bring it to a stop.”

GETTY

HEARTBREAKING: Tributes to the victims of the recent Stockholm terror attack

The new rules also follow atrocities in Nice and Berlin.

Mr Chesterman added: “Officers who serve as part of firearms units are volunteering themselves for an immensely difficult and dangerous role that will put them in harm’s way. “They need to know they will be supported in the rare instance that they might discharge their firearm.” Ken Marsh, of the Met Police Federation, backed the policy change last night.

He said: “If officers are not protected under the law they will not have the confidence to deal with someone driving at people.

“If officers are wondering, ‘Shall I shoot or not’, then innocent people will die.”

It comes as the NPCC announced plans to recruit an extra 1,500 officers by the end of the year, with some specialising in responding to ongoing terror attacks.

Related articles

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*