The police are evaluating posting armed officers on foot patrols to hinder violence in areas “ where gang activity is likely”. Met Commissioner Cressida Dick told an apprehending a move would only be used in “extreme circumstances”.

In a memo noticed by the BBC, she said the assessment would only be used for “short periods of time”. The Met said armed patrols would not be “ routine”, but a Labour peer alerted they would be “ seen as provocative”. The number of brutal deaths in London has reached up to 127 so far, excelling entire 116 killings of 2017.

A memo was seen by the BBC, the email recipients were informed about the concept of armed police on foot patrol was a section of a “ recent internal discussion” into how to reduce ruthless deaths in the capital. If sheltered, the armed patrols would be “based on an informed and reliable intelligence picture of where gang activity is likely”, only be done in “ full consultation with the local policing borough ” and be used as a “ temporary measure for short periods of time”, the memo stated.

Ms Dick told a London Assembly apprehension the change would be “ half a step on” from the status quo and present a “small change in tactic in extreme circumstances”.

Met assistant commissioner Sir Stephen House told the same apprehension the armed patrols were part of a “ range of tactics” the effort was considering to “ get ahead of the violence ”, and added the force was at “very early stages ” of a “very limited consultation”.

He said in a statement: “We are not considering routine deployments of armed officers in our communities”.

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