Trained specialist officers who guard royals and politicians laid out their concerns in a report by the Metropolitan Police Federation, The Daily Mail reports. The officers gave a damning assessment over plans to send junior royals out in public accompanied by bodyguards with no pistols.
In the leaked documents, officers said they would be “playing Russian roulette” with the lives of VIPs if they have no firearm.
The report slams senior Met police chiefs for seemingly putting cost-cutting measures above the safety of VIPs, members of the public and the protection officers themselves.
The damning assessment comes as security protection for multiple senior politicians and community leaders has been toned down, The Daily Mail reports.
The report says Tasers, ASP (extendable batons) or CS spray ” are not fit for purpose to defend against” a knife attack.
It adds: “A protection officer relying solely on a Taser to neutralise an imminent threat to life is quite literally playing Russian roulette with their life and the life of their Principal.”
Recent plans to strip armed protection for Prince Andrew were scrapped after he complained to the Queen.
Reports suggest armed cover for other members of the royal family, who have not been identified, is earmarked for downgrades.
The main author of the 32-page report is one of the UK’s most senior personal protection instructors.
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The Queen has been staying at Windsor Castle since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prince Charles and Prince William’s personal protection officers have endorsed the report.
In a concluding statement, the report says lessons learned from recent terror attacks on home soil appear to have been thrown out the window.
It specifically mentions the Westminster terror attack of March 2017.
Islamic terrorist Khalid Masood killed six people including a police officer during his rampage across Westminster Bridge.
The 2017 and 2019 terror attacks in London Bridge were also mentioned.
In June 2017 eight people were killed in a stabbing and vehicle-ramming rampage.
And in November 2019 two people were stabbed to death by a radical Islamist outside Fishmongers’ Hall.
The report adds: “It would appear that the lessons learnt as a result of Westminster and London Bridge [terror attacks] are quickly forgotten and a reckless trade-off of cost vs safety has taken place, whereby once again cost is the winner that takes all.
“Maximising the safety of the Principal [the VIP] must remain the primary objective, whilst simultaneously ensuring the risk to the public and police officers is minimised.
“Any new tactic must be safe and fit for purpose. It is our view that this tactic, as implemented, is neither.”