'People are setting on the police in groups' warns former counter terror chief
Chris Phillips spoke to GB News' Nigel Farage about how police are "dealing with very violent situations particularly in the inner cities"
The former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office spoke to GB News presenter Nigel Farage about the public's relationship with the police after Priti Patel has allowed special constables to carry Tasers.
Chris Phillips explained changes in the British public's perception of the police since his career: "In my day I could rely on people to support me in the police.
"Now, unfortunately, people are actually setting on the police in groups. It's a really difficult position to be in."
Speaking about Priti Patel's measures to allow volunteer police officers to carry Tasers, he said:
"Most police officers wouldn't want to be armed but there's got to be some way of dealing with the very violent situations that officers are now finding themselves in particularly in the inner cities."
Announcing the move during a speech at the annual Police Federation conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Priti Patel said: “Human rights are not just for criminals, but the law-abiding majority … and that means standing squarely with you – our police.
“I am very proudly pro-police, and … anyone who feels differently should certainly vote for someone else.
“I know many of you feel that you’ve waited a long time for a Home Secretary to be on your side and listen to your calls for change. Not only have I listened, I’ve acted and I’ll continue to work with you because I do think it’s important that you have a Home Secretary that champions many of your calls in government.”
Allowing special constables to carry the electroshock weapons, if authorised by their chief officers, will ensure they are not “at a disadvantage when facing an attacker wielding a knife or a marauding terrorist”, the Home Office said.
But Amnesty International UK branded the decision “dangerous” and said it will lead to “more instances of misuse, serious harm and death from Tasers”.
The volunteers will receive the same training as constables, with deployment of the weapons remaining an operational matter for police chiefs.