There were 18,262 police firearms operations in the year ending March 2021, a 6% decrease (-1,131) compared with the previous year and the second consecutive year-on-year decrease.

The two largest police forces, Metropolitan Police Service and West Midlands Police accounted for 34% of these operations.

Of the 18,262 operations, 92% (16,713) involved an Armed Response Vehicle (ARV), a similar proportion compared with the previous year (91%). There has been a gradual increase in the proportion of operations involving ARV’s since records began in the year ending March 2009 (81%).

There were 4 incidents in which police firearms were discharged. This compares with 5 incidents in the previous year.

There were 6,543 armed officers as at March 2021, a 1% decrease (-41) compared with the previous year. A similar decrease (-37) was also seen in the previous year. The total number of armed officers includes those operationally deployable as of March 31st 2021. This excludes officers who were absent due to sickness, those on paid leave, and those who were isolating due to COVID-19.

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