The armed wing of London’s Metropolitan Police have submitted plans for a new £50 million base in Limehouse in the east of the capital.
The Specialist Firearms Command (SCO19) already has a training establishment at Hendon in the north of London but deputy commissioner Craig Mackey argues that SCO19 need a base at Limehouse to enable armed response officers to tackle incidents across the city quickly.
The new facility would house a training range, weapons storage, offices and facilities for at least 200 officers.The move to expand the Metropolitan Police’s firearms wing comes in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks on the nation’s capital this year including the London Bridge, Westminster and Finsbury Park attacks.
SCO19 includes a number of wings with armed response vehicles (ARVs), tactical support teams, highly trained Specialist Firearms Officers and the elite Counter Terrorist Specialist Firearms Officer teams (CT-SFO). The CT-SFO teams recently received upgraded gear including new vehicles, grey uniforms, new body armour and a raft of new weapons. CT-SFO teams are now equipped with SIG Sauer SIG516s and MCXs, Glock 17 and 19 pistols, Remington 870 shotguns and Accuracy International AT308 sniper rifles.
Other SC019 officers are armed with a mixture of semi-auto Heckler & Koch MP5s, MP7s and G36Ks. The standard sidearm issued is the Glock 17. In addition to London’s firearms officers Mackey was keen to note that the new base will also act as a more conventional police station with non-armed police also operating from the Limehouse base with vehicle and equipment storage and custody facilities. The plan for the new base now awaits approval by the mayor’s office for police and crime (Mopac).