The Difference Between the Police in America and the Police in Britain

Here in America police officers make up a “Police Force” whereas police officers in Britain make up a “Police Service.” The difference in the implied meanings between “force” and “service” holds key significance. Police in America are significantly more militarized and have a tendency to respond to situations as soldiers might. With police in Britain, it’s more like they’re just there to keep the peace. Recently, a 15-year-old boy was shot to death by police officers in Oklahoma City, despite the fact that the boy had lowered his gun shortly before. This sparked a negative reaction from news outlets in Britain. In Britain, most police officers don’t even carry guns; in the event of a situation involving a mass shooter, a special division may be called that uses firearms. Granted, the reason for this relative lack of armed police officers can in large part be attributed to a lower number of guns per capita. But it goes to show that we can aspire to be a better society where guns are less necessary in law enforcement and less commonly owned in general. I think it’s reasonable to say that we would be better off on the whole if there were fewer guns around.

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