From the Author
Read the true story of Britain's armed police
Like most people, perhaps even you, in my early life I had no connection with guns at all. I sat in awe of my father and grandfather as the stories of armed conflict from two world wars were related, but for myself it was a distant and unrelated subject. However,my father's words always echoed in my ears - "All guns are dangerous."
As a young police officer I resisted all temptation to be swayed for many years, until the ever present and increasing use of guns began to threaten even me. As fate took me ever closer to the day when perhaps I too would face an armed aggressor, my opinions changed. All around me police officers faced a rising tide of gun-related crime, and a resolve grew within me. If I was to face an armed man I wanted to be equal - I wanted a gun.
Fate challenged the Metropolitan police as the horrors of the Hungerford massacre posed a new and unprecedented threat. In the face of an armed rampage or confronted by an armed robber, it was impotent. Through the courage of a few senior officers, armed uniformed police officers would patrol the streets of London.
I was there as a supervisor as the first armed cars rolled out onto the streets of London. For years I watched the Armed Response vehicles grow in stature. Before I was done I would carry the first responsibilty for any immediately occurring firearm incident anywhere in the metropolis. Desperate armed men, terrified victims. Guns, bombs and knives. Terrorism and its opposition, I would be privy to it all.
Men's passion and heartbreak. High speed car chases, horrific crashes, humour and tragedy are all here. Gunfire and fire fights as both my men and suspects were hit. The experience has added a new dimension to my life and changed my perceptions forever.
These are real events, real people. If you want to know more then read on, because...I was there.
Roger Gray, January 2000