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Advertorial: Recruiting now: Authorised Firearms Officers

ADVERTORIAL: Northamptonshire Police are looking for authorised firearms officers to join a dynamic team to fight crime and protect the public.

Advertorial: Recruiting now: Authorised Firearms Officers

Date - 21st June 2023
By - Northamptonshire Police
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Northamptonshire is unique. If you’re looking to develop your career and uncover new challenges, then Northamptonshire Police is the place to be - a diverse organisation both internally and geographically.

It is a Force that boasts breath-taking countryside and the usual rural crime which it brings, contrasted with vibrant urban towns dealing with serious metropolitan issues.

As a county force that prides itself in being family friendly and holding wellbeing high on the agenda, you can benefit from the luxuries of affordable housing, convenient transport links and a challenging career.

The county is well situated for commuting easily and conveniently with direct rail links to London and Birmingham. It also sits snugly surrounded by Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Thames Valley and Warwickshire.

In addition to dealing wide ranging crime and disorder, our officers are required to police high profile international events such as Silverstone and Moto GP.

Amongst the extensive training facilities, the force boasts a professional relationship with the US Air Force Station in RAF Croughton used for training events.

Recruitment opens in June and applications are welcome from trained AFOs, including those from women, minority ethnic communities and those with neurodiverse characteristics. It’s recognised that diversity brings different ways of thinking and problem solving which are invaluable to a firearms team.

For further information or advice on developing your career with Northamptonshire Police, contact the Armed Policing Inspector on or go online at

About our Armed Response Unit

There were 388 deployments in Northamptonshire in the financial year 2022/23. An 18.6 percent increase from the previous year. There were 338 spontaneous and 50 pre-planned deployments.

Officers have exclusive access to a range of vehicles including Volvo XC90s, BMW X5s, BMW X3s, including an armoured Land Rover. They also have access to a number of bespoke vehicles to support surveillance operations.

The team is expected to maintain armed support to the force in respect of general policing and to respond to the demands in respect of counter terrorism. They are responsible for the 24/7 spontaneous armed response to incidents, in addition to supporting the roads policing response to serious and fatal road traffic collisions.

  • 50 AFOs across five teams working a 24/7, four on four off, 10-week shift pattern
  • 12 armed response vehicles
  • On site staffed armouries for both training and operational weaponry
  • On site interactive 180-degree range used for judgemental live fire training
  • Built in dedicated training weeks
  • Support of a fully operationally deployable training team
  • 50 metre drive in indoor range able to accommodate vehicle-based tactics training
  • Range designed to allow building spaces to be created for building tactics training
  • One of a select number of forces that provide firearms commander training
  • Officers equipped with/have access to: Glock 17 sidearm, 556 Calibre Lewis Machine Tool (LMT) carbine (both long and short barrelled), L104 A1 Heckler & Kock (H&K ), AEP Launcher, 762 calibre LMT rifle, Taser T7, Benelli Supernova Shotgun


The Force prides itself on the use of effective de-briefs after every armed deployment to capture and take forward both learning and best practice. With this comes an ability to fully recognise when officers need support either through training, mentoring, coaching or through wider support such as TRIM for more personal or impactive matters unique to those individuals.

Policing is tough and officers are often required to deal with conflict in dynamic situations. In the vast majority of situations, these are resolved using carefully selected language, body language and by managing human interaction.

While our armed officers attend numerous incidents each year, they are expertly trained in advanced levels of conflict resolution and de-escalation which mean that it is incredibly rare for an officer to have to discharge their firearm in order to achieve a peaceful conclusion.

The more extreme situations require varying degrees of physical force, including, on occasions, the use of firearms by authorised firearms officers.

This necessary response is a well-established approach and always taken in a proportionate manner. Our firearms officers are expertly trained to assess situations, analyse the circumstances and determine the most appropriate course of action to protect the public.

It’s hard to miss the obvious in this role – firearms. And indeed this is often the one thing overtly focused on in any narrative about the role of AFOs.

But crucially what is often always overlooked, but equally pertinent to this role, is a strong and analytic mind. Firearms officers require the ability to process significant amounts of information dynamically and then take reasoned and defensible action under pressure. The firearm is but another tool in the armoury in protecting the public, but the most important element is the mind. Taking all possible eventualities into consideration, assessing the information available, measuring the risks and determining the best course of action. All before the use of a firearm. 

Do you have an interesting news story? Contact the newsdesk on 0203 119 3303
or alternatively get in touch via the contact form.

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