We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:
Policy or procedure on allowing foreign nationals to carry firearms while on protection duties in the UK.
We released the following information on 20 December 2011.
Possession of weapons in Great Britain is covered under the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended). The Secretary of State has discretion by virtue of section 5 of the Act to grant her authority enabling individuals to possess prohibited weapons in Great Britain.
All requests are considered by the Commander of the Royal and Diplomatic and Specialist Protection Command (RDSPC). The RDSPC look at each country’s application on an individual basis and ascertain the risk based upon information from Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. If the risk is considered sufficient for armed protection to be required, the application is made to the Home Office for approval.
Overseas security teams given permission to carry prohibited weapons would remain under the remit of the Metropolitan police and may only possess a prohibited weapon whilst on duty.
Requests are made for Presidential and Ministerial visits and only those made in an official, not private, capacity.