Comments by Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner Alison Hernandez are rejected by senior officer

A police commissioner has caused alarm among rank and file officers by suggesting that members of the public who own guns could help defend rural areas against terror attacks. Alison Hernandez, the Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner, said she was interested in having a conversation with the chief constable about whether ordinary people with gun licences could assist in a terrorist crisis.

The comments have caused alarm within the force and prompted a stern warning from a senior officer that citizens should not arm themselves.

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