Armed officers from Avon and Somerset Police have been deployed to London after firearms officers with the Met handed in their weapons.
As many as 300 Metropolitan Police firearms officers surrendered their right to carry weapons in protest over the decision to charge one of their colleagues with murder. The Met Police were forced to call the army in for backup, after the walkouts left the force insufficiently staffed to meet their counterterrorism responsibilities.
By Monday the Met said that following discussions with officers, enough decided to return to duty that the army's support would no longer be required.
The Met also made so-called 'mutual aid' requests to regional police forces, and it is now understood armed officers from Somerset were deployed to London as a result. In a statement confirming the move a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “Avon and Somerset Police has well established standard operating procedures in responding to mutual aid requests.
"We routinely share officers through mutual aid to ensure an appropriate police presence exists where there is increased demand for it. Each request is reviewed on a case by case basis, based on our local demand. We do not share details of mutual aid numbers for operational reasons.
“In this instance we can confirm we have provided mutual aid.”
It remains unclear how many London firearms officers have returned to duty, but in a statement the Metropolitan Police said: "The number of officers who have now returned to armed duties is sufficient for us to longer require external assistance to meet our counterterrorism responsibilities."
Officers from Avon and Somerset did not join the protest by handing in their tickets. When asked Devon and Cornwall Police declined to comment as to whether any of their officers had done so.
The row broke out after the shooting of 24-year-old Chris Kaba by a Metropolitan Police Officer in September 2022. Hundreds of colleagues refused their armed duties after the officer was charged with murder by the Crown Prosecution Service.