Highlands & Islands

Female officer's call for more armed policewomen

Pc Alison McLennan and colleagues. Pic: Ewen Weatherspoon
Image caption Pc Alison McLennan with fellow Northern Constabulary firearms officers

A female firearms officer hopes to encourage more policewomen to join her force's armed response team.

Pc Alison McLennan, 32, is one of three female authorised firearms officers (AFOs) at Northern Constabulary.

The Inverness-based officer said the role involved working under extreme pressure, but could also be highly rewarding.

Northern Constabulary said any impressions that armed response was for men only was wrong and outdated.

Pc McLennan makes her call in e-magazine, Northern Lights, on the force's website.

She also tells of the pressures in distinguishing realistic-looking fake guns from real weapons during incidents and working with search teams and negotiators.

The officer added: "I never feel like I am one of only three women specialists and it is never an issue.

"We are all just firearms officers working together to protect the public."

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