A video of two armed Cheshire police officers strolling around Tesco in Helsby has been branded ‘outrageous’ by shocked members of the public.
The 25 second clip was uploaded to YouTube over the weekend by Dr Steven Peers who was shopping in the store when he spotted the two officers casually roaming the aisles on what appeared to be on their lunch break.
In the video, the pair are approached by customers, one of whom says: “The fact you’re wearing a gun, I don’t like it.”
The officers are seen listening to the woman before replying, "OK that’s fine.”
As the police walk off, other concerned customers can be heard asking: “Who are they planning on shooting? That’s a bit alarming - armed police in Tesco.”
Dr Peers told The Chronicle: “I think it’s outrageous really, it’s Orwellian. Equipment like that should be locked away safely, not worn by police walking around Tesco scaring people, especially children.
“The fact they think they can just walk around like that on their lunch hour - it’s absolutely outrageous. We don't want an armed police force in this country. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Superintendent Martin Cleworth of Cheshire Police said: “As part of our Alliance Armed Policing arrangements with North Wales Police, firearms officers will routinely carry a side arm with them at all times when on duty.
“This might include when they may pop into a local supermarket to collect refreshments. Any other weapons are stored securely in a safe in the vehicle itself.
“This is our standard operating procedure that has been in place for some time.”
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