The Metropolitan Police has announced that it is to put more armed officers on public patrol as part of its anti-terrorism plans.
The first of the force’s additional 600 marksmen, that were recruited after attacks in France, are trained and operationally ready.
This is a welcome development, and the nation can breathe that little bit easier as it goes about its business.
The armed officers will go on routine patrol in London. It is sad that this will be a further retreat from the fine tradition in the capital of unarmed police officers. But it is necessary.
A terrorist attack in that great city is likely, as indeed is such an attack in other parts of the UK.
It might be from a deranged, so-called ‘lone wolf’, whose head has been filled with poison by fanatical Islamic hate preachers. Such a sole attacker might be using a knife, a gun, or a vehicle or some other improvised weapon.
Preventing such attacks is almost impossible, but when they do happen it is essential that the police are able to arrive on the scene quickly and shoot dead the terrorist.
Nothing more perfectly illustrated Jeremy Corbyn’s utter unsuitedness for high office than his near refusal to say that police should shoot dead the attackers if a Bataclan Theatre type nightmare situation was to arise in the UK.
Adopting the sort of human-rights-for-murderers approach that he supported during the Troubles, that naive man would be agonising about the well-being of the jihadists as trapped civilians faced massacre at their hands.
Many more trained police are needed. The intelligence services will also have to be lavishly funded in their painstaking and heroic work in tracking terrorists round the clock.
But the UK has the money. Many billions of pounds a year are still being spent on barely reformed welfare payments, and barely reformed lavish public sector pensions.
Using our hard-earned taxpayer cash to fund expert armed police officers is a crucial allocation of public funds.