Armed Policing Code of Practice

‚ÄčThe Code of Practice on Armed Policing and Police Use of Less Lethal Weapons outlines the responsibilities and procedures that should be followed when police officers use firearms, specialist munitions and less lethal weapons. 

The new code of practice, which all police officers have a duty to follow, replaces the 2003 version and it should be used in conjunction with the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice (APP) for Armed Policing.  The new code addresses a related recommendation made to the Home Office by the Anthony Grainger public inquiry. 

The evaluation process for less lethal weapons and specialist munitions has also been strengthened under the new code. Any recently developed less lethal weapon systems, certain specialist munitions and significant changes to previously approved weapons systems will require approval from the Home Office before they can be used by forces.

This centralised code of practice provides a compatible weapons usage procedure across forces in England and Wales, and it also bolsters support for operations involving more than one force. This upholds the high standards of armed policing, while fostering even greater cooperation between forces. 

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