Lessons of Mumbai: UK police get bigger guns

By Peter Wozniak

Police forces are upping the levels of counter-terror training to combat potential attacks by terrorist gunmen in major cities.

The measures proposed include training alongside elite SAS units and the provision of bigger, more effective guns.

It is reported that intelligence services have warned of an increased risk of terror plots in the manner of the Mumbai attacks two years ago, lending further impetus to police retraining.

In the event of such an attack, with lone gunmen indiscriminately shooting civilians in crowded places, police armed response units would be tasked with containing the terrorists. Engaging and neutralising the threat would be left to the SAS.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks, which saw hundreds of people killed and injured when ten gunmen infiltrated the city by boat and targeted high concentrations of bystanders in hotels, railway stations and public places, have heightened alert levels in security forces across the world.

According to reports last month, Al-Qaeda have taken a shine to the style of attack and were planning at least one co-ordinated strike on European cities.

The ‘severe’ threat level to the UK, raised at the beginning of the year remains in place. Security procedures in London are also being tightened up in time for the 2012 Olympics.