A YouGov Poll this week showed that the majority of people want more Armed Police to deal with gun and knife crime, organised crime etc. The Police Federation say the majority of their members want more Armed Response Units, though the same people don't want to carry firearms themselves. Last year, Sir Ian Blair put forward the idea of allowing Direct Recruitment to Armed Response Units; these Units would run an extended Selection course for suitible recruits(for example ex-Military)and would re-train them in the Police way of using firearms. Recruits who passed the Selection and Training would go straight into Armed Duties. For once, I think Blair II has the right idea. Pain in chest...left arm going numb... I am sure there are a lot of ex- Infantry, Paras, Marines etc who, with the correct (re)training, would make excellent Armed Response Officers. However, a lot of these same people would not be interested in "normal" police work, and would be put off joining the police by the two year probationary period. We definately need more Armed Officers; coppers are facing rising levels of gun and knife crime, drug/organised crime and, of course, terrorism. I have set up an E-Petition: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ArmedResponse Anyone who is interested, please sign it.