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£50 million armed police base to tackle terrorism
A new £50 million base for armed police officers in London is one of a number of measures being proposed to protect the public from terrorist attacks.
The base, planned for Limehouse, would house at least 200 officers and contain a firing range, weapons storage and other facilities.
Other non-firearms officers would additionally be stationed at Limehouse, which, if approved would be built as part of a five-year overhaul of the Met’s property portfolio, under which over 250 buildings will be rid of and a small number of new stations developed to take their place.
Details of the plans have been submitted by the Metropolitan police to the Mayor’s office for police and crime (Mopac) and emerged as the force announced it had begun an eight-week trial using drones to support its operations.
The Met’s deputy commissioner, Craig Mackey, said the force needed new sites for its armed officers and had already built a new firearms range in Hendon. A new base at Limehouse would make it easier to make sure officers were readily available to tackle terrorist incidents and other crimes where guns were suspected to be involved.
The Met has continued to expand firearms capability and is recruiting 600 extra armed officers, bringing its total to 2,800 armed officers.
Mackey told the Evening Standard: “The firearms range at Hendon is up [and running].
“As we redevelop in the east of London we are looking at a similar type of capability at Limehouse. That’s about making sure we can keep those officers trained, accredited, and up to the standards they need to be, and available.”