Deployment of armed police – message from MPS Tower Hamlets

Just got a message through from MPS Tower Hamlets about the news that the Met is deploying more armed officers across London, this is ‘Operation Hercules’. The police  are keen to stress that there is no specific intelligence that a terrorist attack is any more likely now than before.

And of course 92% of our police officers remained unarmed.

LW’s view is that higher visibility armed officers is a very good move and that we should support them and their colleagues in whatever way we can.

This will probably include the production of more sausage rolls and pasties at the bakers in Wapping Lane to keep all the officers fuelled up. (And yes @MPSonthewater, we are looking at you! We know that big truck is full of pies!)

But seriously, the main way we can support the anti-terror effort (apart from not becoming terrorists of course) is to provide police with information – dial 101 if you have any suspicions or the Anti-Terrorist Hotline number which is 0800 789 321.

Suspicious activity could include someone:

  • Who has bought or stored large amounts of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason
  • Who has bought or hired a vehicle in suspicious circumstances
  • Who holds passports or other documents in different names for no obvious reason
  • Who travels for long periods of time, but is vague about where they’re going

Message from Tower Hamlets MPS

Good Afternoon to all,

Many of you may have heard the Commissioner speaking on the television and radio today regarding Operation Hercules.

This operation will see the deployment of more armed officers across London. It is part of our commitment to keeping London safe in light of the ongoing terrorist threat.

I would stress that there is no specific intelligence that a terrorist attack is more likely but this is more a long term response to make best use of our increased number of armed officers.

Deployments and tactics will vary daily but will include patrolling with unarmed colleagues in crowded places, using automatic number plate reading (ANPR) technology and use of vehicle check points.

I know that arming the police in London is an emotive subject.

The commissioner gave a commitment in January that he would grow the number of armed officers by 600 and this week sees the first of the newly trained officers ready for deployment.

Given recent events across Europe we must never be complacent – our tactics will be kept under constant review – and we can change our tactical options on what the threat level tells us.

That said we are not stepping away from our proud tradition of a predominantly unarmed service, 92% of our officers will remain unarmed. We need to recognise the changing threat picture and change to deal with it, just as we have changed our tactics over the many years that we have been dealing with a threat from terrorism to London.

We cannot do this alone and need the public’s help: stay alert but not alarmed, if you have suspicions then tell us.

Kind Regards

Tower Hamlets Police


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