The public of West Yorkshire is being asked whether police officers should routinely carry guns and Taser stun guns.

West Yorkshire Police Federation has launched two surveys – one for its members and another for members of the public.

Federation members are being asked whether they would be willing to carry a sidearm or carry a Taser to keep both themselves and the public safer.

Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “Given the recent tragic events in London and Manchester and the changing nature of threats faced by police officers nationally, we are seeking the views of West Yorkshire Police officers on the issues of routine arming of officers and the routine carrying of Tasers by officers.

“This is an opportunity for police officers to feed back their views and have their voice heard. It will also allow us as a federation to make effective representation with key stakeholders moving forwards, such as our Command Team, Police and Crime Commissioner and local MPs.

“Therefore we’d ask all officers to complete the survey because the greater the level of participation, the greater evidence and body of feedback there is, which will ultimately assist us when negotiating and influencing on their behalf.”

On firearms, questions for officers to answer include whether they think all police officers should be issued with a firearm (sidearm), whether they would be prepared to carry one, whether they think there should be a significant increase in the number of armed officers to increase support to conventional policing and whether officers think carrying a gun would keep both themselves and the public safer.

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Officers are also being asked whether they think the routine arming of police officers will fundamentally change how policing is delivered to the public.

At the same time, the federation is also asking the public via a similar survey for their view on these important topics.

Members of the public can access the survey at

Nick added: “Whilst we’re surveying officers at this time because of the changing nature of policing, we feel it’s only right and appropriate that we survey the public of West Yorkshire to get their view.

“We’ve always policed upon the principle of consent and engagement and we feel that it’s right that we consult the public about these two important issues. Ultimately, it’s the question of ‘what do the public want the police to do and how best to protect them?’”

Currently approximately 400 West Yorkshire Police officers – out of around 4,500 – are Taser trained, while there are around 200 officers who are authorised firearms officers.