Fireaems in Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by baboon6, Jul 12, 2009.

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  1. Gene Hunt and his boys are quite a few times seen using firearms. Is this artistic licence or is it fairly accurate, I mean CID using pistols/revolvers? I have read that the rules on police carrying sidearms were less strict than they are now (i.e. more officers authorised to use firearms) but what exactly were they?
  2. Life on Mars era would have been Webley .38 revolver and No4 in .303
    Authority to use?
    Not sure on specifics other than attendance at a qualification course.
  3. Prior to the introduction of armed response vehicles c1991 there were, I believe, two levels of firearms officers:

    Level 1 were the guys that eventually became CO19 - the guys whose weapons may have included rifles, MP5's and would deal with hostage scenarios and the like.

    Level 2 included local CID officers who could draw firearms with a senior officers authority where the circumstances dictated it.

    So whilst the BBC has presumably taken a bit of artistic licence the basic principle is correct.
  4. around mid '82 I went on a night shift at Shepherds Bush given a then wish to join the Met. I remember the Shift Inspector showing us the gun cabinet with revolvers inside, so presume they were held locally throughout London and issued as Moose suggests. Others may know more
  5. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    Each station had a proportion of 'Authorised Shots' who might have been uniform or CID. If an incident required an armed presence then firearms were issued to 'Authorised Shots'.
    In those days usually a Webley .38 or L39A1/L42A1 7.62 (converted Lee-Enfield No 4).

    I recently saw some footage of the hunt for Harry Roberts who was involved in the 1966 killings of 3 police officers in Shepherds Bush, and the uniformed plod were carrying another Lee-Enfield No 4 conversion, the L8.
  6. Things changed with incidents like Hungerford and the Embassy seige.Way back in the 30's officers on nights could be issued with a revolver and sometimes a Cutlass ( I,m going way back now ). The Special branch had firearms officers so did Reginal Crime sqds and the like. Then you had Divisional teams mostly made up from uniformed officers drawn from local stations.

    Most would meet for training once a month. One month the day would be spent on a range. The next month it would be a Tactics Training day. This routine goes on to this day in most Forces.

    When I started my Firearms it was in the late 70's.We spent 2 weeks at HQ training on the S&M .38 revolver with a wooden grip. The rounds we used were reloads :( and the cases were used time and again until they split.The Force was trying to save money so the powder used would be the bare minimum. You could see the round travel down the range like an air pellet :( We would show up to incidents in our normal unifom and be given tatty old boby armour. No ballistic shields,no kevlar helmits,no incident vests. Then after high profile incidents things changed.Forces formed Firearms tactical units.Kit was personal issue, Shootgun courses,Battongun courses( we got to fire one round each at an old door)
    Advanced Firearm Courses.Then the MP5 arrived and the flashbang and the A.R.V. cars were deployed.

    There was a time when the duty Inspector could issue firearms but now it has to be autherised by an ACPO rank.
  7. Armouries were included in most divisonal stations. One I worked at has what is quite obviously an elaborate set up with armourers office and issuing area (now both long given over to cleaners storage) others were little more than cabinets screwed to the wall.

    In the counties authority to arm lay with an ACPO officer.... in the MPS the duty Inspector.

    I joined the job in the early days of So19. One of my mates was a "divisional rifleman" and had been on a sniper course at the SASC depot. He had three lockers full of kit including a rather flash Ghillie suit. He gave up rifleman duties in the late 1990's and I think he was one of the last divisonal AFO's. IIRC the sniper stuff was given to the DPG as a bolt on tasking as the riflemen were a reinforcement to SO19, not a rival organisation.


  8. What rank would that be from?
  9. Anyone higher than a Chief Supt, so in the counties that would be Assistant Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable or the Chief themselves.
  10. By the early 1970's the police were buying the "Enforcer" very similiar to the L39A1 but with a Pecar Scope, my brother tells me he was issued with a Smith & Wesson model 10 around 1973 in the Met.
  11. I'm sure I read somewhere that during the Hungerford massacre, that a police helicopter was deployed with a policeman armed only with a revolver.
    Obviously the police force's armed responce tactics have come along way since then,but I would of imagined even in 1987 the response should of been more proffesional than this?
    Would this of been true?
  12. I know that TVP had to ask for help from London for Hungerford and PT17 was deployed.

    PT 17 were the force firearms instructors and operated as an SFO team when needed. They provided the core of SO19 when the ARV crews were being recruited and then went back to their old role of training/SFO work but now as part of SO19.

    I would assume TVP didn't have much of a firearms set up. As late as the 70's troops were used in these situations, (they were at the spaghetti house siege for example) for contaiment cordons and the like.

  13. I am so up for the idea of bringing back cutlasses for the police. Lets be honest no chancing chav is gonna mess with a copper with a fooking great sword.

    I know a bit off topic but the idea just appealed to me.

    Back on topic I had heard about police being issued with firearms with a senior officers permission and uniform police carried revolvers during WWII.
  14. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Don't know about other forces, but in my area plod were allowed to carry a revolver on nights up until 1968, when the Firearms Act of that year came in, then after that, a very short course led to authorised shots being in every station. Revolvers and the Enforcer along with a sawn-off double barelled 12 bore were held at my nick. The sawn off was for opening doors, stopping cars and killing bulls that escaped from cattle market. Was issued with some 00 guage but mostly solid slugs.
    Authorisation for issue was duty Supt.
  15. 1971. Met C1 team in NI carried .38 S & W all the time. Rounds loose in pocket until deemed necessary by carrier to load. First time I was driver of Land crab 1800 and five of them all loaded at the same time around me. Most scary thing by a long way. I had them on the range next day though.