It's strange, I find myself being somewhat irritated by the weight of criticism the police get every time the kill an unarmed person (holding a cigarette lighter or table leg). On the other hand I realise that it's this pressure and scrutiny that gives us the extremely low rates of police killing we have in this country. Last year there was 1 fatal shooting by police, 3 the year before. It's so rare for the British police to shoot and kill anybody, let alone somebody who turns out not to be a real threat that when it happens we are shocked as a nation, to the point the Prime Minister apologises. I haven't dug up stats for many other countries, and it'd be crass to draw comparisons to Brazil at this point, but overall the British police seem to usually do a good job in difficult circumstances, hardly a force of "cowboys" or "amateurs".
I suppose the other option would be to entirely remove firearms from the police, that would reduce the risk of police killings, but may risk more civilian and police deaths from armed criminals.
How should firearms be used in British policing?
Most or all police should routinely carry firearms
Most police unarmed, small number trained officers allowed to carry firearms and tasers, support available from Armed Response Units. (i.e. status quo)
No armed police, "less lethal" weapons available to all police (tasers, baton rounds)
No armed police, "less lethal" weapons available to specially trained officers (tasers, baton rounds)
No weapons for police other than a baton