Could Britain's police officers soon be packing heat? The Metropolitan Police Federation has announced that it is surveying its members on whether they want to carry a gun or a taser.
According to The Telegraph the survey of officers is being carried out off the back of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, such as the recent Berlin and Paris attacks. Last year plans were announced to boost the number of armed police in the capital to 3000 - which is only a fraction of the 32,000 members of the officers in London. And we imagine most of those are the ones patrolling around important buildings and train stations, rather than 'normal' officers.
"If it comes back overwhelmingly that they all want to carry firearms we would have to have a very frank discussion about that, but there is no intention as we speak for that to happen", says Ken Marsh, who is chair of the Federation, which isn't part of the police, but is effectively a trade union for police officers.
The Telegraph also quotes Scotland Yard officials slapping down to the proposal, saying that "The position of the Met and the Commissioner is clear - we are proud to maintain the tradition that police in this country are not routinely armed. The routine arming of the Metropolitan Police is not supported."
But if the results of the consultation are strongly in favour, it'll show the strength of feeling on the ground - and will give the likes of the Daily Mail a strong stick with which to beat the government with (or indeed, a high voltage taser with which to tase the government with), until it changes its mind. [Telegraph]