Should police officers be paid more for carrying a gun? Have your say

London UK. 26 September 2023.  Armed Met police officers return to duty  as hundreds of officers  from the Metropolitan police stepped back from firearms duties in protest after  an officer being charged with killing  Chris Kaba, 24, Credit amer ghazzal/Alamy Live News
Armed Metropolitan Police officers on the streets of London. (Alamy) (amer ghazzal)

Police officers who carry firearms on duty should be paid more, a government minister has suggested.

Policing minister Chris Philp's comments came after hundreds of officers stepped back from firearms duties at the weekend.

The move came after an officer was charged with the murder of construction worker Chris Kaba, 24, who was shot on 5 September last year in Streatham, south London. He died in hospital the next day.

Home secretary Suella Braverman has ordered a review into armed policing after officers handed in their weapons.

What do you think?

Eventually, the Metropolitan Police stood down a plan to use military back-up after enough firearms officers returned to duty.

Police officers who carry firearms, known as AFOs (Authorised Firearms Officers), do so on a voluntary basis and receive no extra pay.

On Tuesday, Philp suggested there is an argument for paying officers more for carrying a gun.

Asked about the prospect on LBC Radio, he said: "Yeah, possibly there is.

London, United Kingdom. August 31  2023. Chris Philp, Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire,  is seen in Westminster during morning media round. Credit: Tayfun Salci / Alamy Live News
Chris Philp, minister for policing, suggested that armed officers should be paid more. (Alamy) (Tayfun Salci)

“Chief constables deal with operational measures like who gets trained and who gets given a firearm ticket but they do put themselves in extraordinary danger.”

Speaking about the review announced by Braverman, he said: “We need to make sure the law is on their side when the police do what is necessary to protect us, the public.

“And it wouldn’t be a good thing if the police feel they can’t do what is necessary to protect the public because the law is too heavy on their back, and that is what the review is designed to achieve."


Downing Street said the Home Office review into guidelines used by firearms officers is expected to conclude by the end of the year.

It will be carried out in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) said the review of armed policing is “long overdue”.

London, UK. 9th September, 2023. Chris Kaba's family and friends were joined by activists to march on the one-year anniversary of his death after he was fatally shot by an armed Metropolitan police officer, following a pursuit in an unmarked police vehicle in south London.  His family seek accountability for the police officer's actions and a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution System (CPS), frustrated by the delays. Credit: Eleventh Hour Photography/Alamy Live News
Campaigners march earlier this month on the anniversary of the death of Chris Kaba. (Alamy) (Eleventh Hour Photography)

It said in a statement: “There is no doubt that every case which results in the loss of someone’s life is devastating for that person’s family and friends.

“Such an event also has a huge impact on the officers involved and on society in general.

“Officers volunteer to carry firearms in the knowledge that they are putting their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the communities they serve.

“While they unreservedly accept being held to account for their actions, they rightly expect to be subjected to a fair, independent, unbiased and transparent process."

But Akiko Hart, interim director at human rights group Liberty, told Yahoo News UK: "It's outrageous to suggest that it's too easy to hold the police to account when someone is killed - and an insult to the thousands of families still awaiting justice for a loved one's death.

"None of us is above the law - and proposing to give the police special treatment under the law is a dangerous route to go down."

Dr Shabna Begum, interim co-CEO of the Runnymede Trust: "Discussions about pay are a distraction from the real issue. Chris Kaba was shot dead by an armed police officer, who is now being charged with murder; the conversation should not be about police pay, but accountability."