Scotland Yard have revealed the new methods that British police marksmen are being trained in to stop mass shooting of hostages in London.
Police officers are being told to ‘go forward’ and stop the terrorists even if it means leaving wounded casualties behind untreated. Scotland yard have said they believe that this will ‘save the most lives’.
The tactics were made public for the first time after police bosses invited journalists to a training exercise which simulated gunmen storming a shopping centre, although this method has been used since the Mumbai attacks in 2008.
Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan, Scotland Yard’s head of specialist crime and operations said:
In asking them [officers] to go forward, we’re asking them not to give first aid to people who are injured, and it might well be their colleagues as well… 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.
Mrs Gallan insisted that the force doesn’t have a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy and that marksmen will operate within the law.
Every single set of circumstances has to be looked at on a case by case basis … We know from the incidents in Paris and elsewhere that the terrorists have taken a different tack in that they have been shooting hostages and such like.
So the decision has to be made, and it is a brave decision at the time, about whether you stand back, in which case you may well have more people die, or whether the best thing is to go forward.
And we’ve been training our officers to go forward. That is, going forward in the face of firearms and shots being fired at them as well as potential explosions and such like.
Publicity of the training exercise was planned before the atrocities in France took place.
Ms Gallan hopes it will reassure the public saying:
In light of Paris we still thought it would be appropriate to be open, to show what was happening and I hope it will reassure people that we are really committed to keeping the capital safe and mitigating the threat of terrorism.
A short video has been released showing how the police would handle a mass shooting scenario:
The exercise was part of annual training for the Met’s authorised firearms officers, of whom there are around 2,000. It simulated a group of terrorists armed with guns and bombs storming a shopping centre.