In response to the recent decision by over 100 Metropolitan Police officers to relinquish their firearms permits, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has extended an offer of military support to the London police force. This significant development comes in the aftermath of the tragic shooting incident involving Chris Kaba, a 24-year-old unarmed individual, which ultimately led to the murder charge against a Met Police officer.
The decision by these police officers to voluntarily surrender their firearms permits is a notable step taken by the Metropolitan Police in light of the charges filed against one of their own officers in connection with the death of Chris Kaba. This incident, which transpired in south London last year, resulted in the loss of Mr. Kaba’s life, prompting a subsequent court appearance by the Met Police officer.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that they had received a formal request, known as Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA), from the Home Office. This request sought routine counterterrorism contingency support to be made available to the Metropolitan Police, should the need arise. The MoD’s readiness to provide this support underscores the gravity of the situation.
In an official statement addressing the circumstances, the Metropolitan Police acknowledged that some of their officers had expressed concerns following the murder charge against a fellow marksman. This development has sparked a renewed conversation about the role of armed police officers and their responsibilities.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has also weighed in on the matter, calling for a comprehensive review of armed policing practices in response to this crisis. She emphasized the critical role played by firearms officers in safeguarding the public, highlighting the immense pressure they face, often requiring split-second decisions in high-stress situations. Braverman expressed her unwavering support for these officers and pledged to use her authority to provide them with all necessary assistance.
Chris Kaba lost his life during a police operation in Streatham Hill on September 5, 2022. He was tragically struck by a gunshot fired by a Met Police officer into the vehicle he was driving, succumbing to his injuries in the hospital the following day. At the time of his death, Mr. Kaba was on the brink of becoming a father, a poignant reminder of the profound loss suffered by his family and loved ones. This tragic incident galvanized various protests, underlining the need for a comprehensive examination of the circumstances surrounding it.