Specialist British Armed Police Units
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Elite British Armed Police
CTSFOs (Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officers)
CTSFOs are another proactive element of SCO19. Their role includes counter terrorism and hostage rescue. Like TSTs, CTSFO teams provide firearms support to other Met specialist units and may operate in both an overt and covert manner. CTSFO teams are on standby to respond to a terrorist or major crime incident both in London and at the National level.
The number of active CTSFOs is around 130 officers, organized into 6 CTSFO Inspectors, an Operational Senior Manager and 7 teams. Each team consists of 1 Sergeant leading 15 Constables. CTSFO units may be called to storm buildings, planes, buses, trains and boats, both docked and underway. 2These operations requires that CTSFOs receive a higher level of training than the Tactical Support Teams. Like TST Officers, CTSFOs have served as ARV Officers before going through their own extensive selection and training process.
Tactical Support Teams
Tactical Support Teams (TST) consist of experienced ARV officers trained to provide support to other Met units. TSTs are a more proactive SCO19 element i.e. they tend to carry out authorised, pre-planned, intelligence-led operations. These may include performing high-risk arrests and raiding criminal establishments were the presence of firearms is suspected. They may be deployed as armed backup for operations by specialist Met units such as the Flying Squad and surveillance units. TSTs operate in both overt (uniformed) and covert (plainclothes) profiles.