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Armed Police in balaclava

Armed Police Wearing Balaclavas

Armed Police in balaclava

While it’s the armed police force’s duty to protect and serve the community, protecting themselves is equally as important. So, how exactly do they keep themselves safe?

It’s common knowledge that armed police officers are jeopardizing their own wellbeing and safety each and every day. An armed police officer has been trained to attend scenes where there are threats of terrorism and hostage, handle armed offenders, and storm dark and dangerous buildings.

With threats of terrorism on a devastating rise, you can only imagine the risks that armed police officers are faced with.

Not only are officers exposed to harmful chemicals and substances, but they also deal with extremely dangerous individuals. So, with that in mind, why exactly do armed police officers wear balaclavas? 

The simple answer: To protect not only their face from harm, but also to hide their identity. 

Let’s dive into why it’s important for armed officers to cover their faces.

Why firearms police cover their faces

A firearms police officer will keep their face covered for many reasons including protecting themselves from harmful chemicals and fire and also to conceal their identity from dangerous offenders. 

Through extensive training, armed officers are fully prepared to take control of both hostage and terrorist situations. During such times, an armed officer will most likely be dealing with serious offenders who could also be armed and ready to hurt anyone that gets in their way.

For protection, an armed officer will keep their face covered. Think about a hostage or terrorism situation: It is highly unlikely that an officer will want their identity revealed. 

During these escalated situations, there may be reporters at the scene with cameras ready to break the news on TV and the internet.

Exposing their identity places the armed officer in an extremely vulnerable position. If the offender has accomplices who have identified a familiar face, they could be capable of endangering not only the armed officer, but their family too.

Additionally, an armed officer is adept in handling situations whereby they are exposed to weapons and/or harmful substances. 

To protect their own safety and prevent injuries, an armed officer will keep their face covered often by use of masks and specially designed flame proof balaclavas.

Reasons why they cover their faces

To protect an armed police officer from dangerous substances such as chemicals and fire, flame proof balaclavas or head covers are issued as personal protective equipment.

Keeping our armed police officers safe is a top priority, and while the situations they face pose a great risk to their wellbeing, there are measures officers should take to protect themselves.  

An armed officer may be deployed into dangerous situations including storming buildings where there is a threat of petrol and chemicals. Often coming face-to-face with extremely harmful individuals who won’t hesitate to hurt an officer, protecting your face is not something to be taken lightly.

These situations are not a daily occurrence in the UK, however, since the recent devastating attacks in both Manchester and London, firearm police officers must be ready to tackle all threats at any given time. Keeping our officers safe from harm is key, after all, without our dedicated firearm team, the wellbeing of the UK would be placed at great risk. 

Tom Brook

Tom Brook

I am a former Police Detective with years of knowledge and experience in investigating serious crimes across Scotland, working with communities and keeping the public safe. I aim to give back to the Policing community with this site!
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