In November Northumbria police announced increased numbers of firearms officers on patrol, and invited people with concerns to "chat" with them.What a great idea!
Thousands of people responded to the force's pictures on Facebook and Twitter.Ah, see the heartwarming power of social media? Bringing people together and...
Comments included: "Please keep your guns away from our children."Errr...
"Armed police does (sic) everything but 'reassure' the public, it makes us really uncomfortable. This isn't the states!"No, in the States, you can count on owning your own gun to defend yourself!
"I do not want to live in a country where it's a daily occurrence to see armed police with semi automatic weapons patrolling our streets and our Xmas events."I don't want to live in one where terrorists get a free run at stabbing and running over people. Especially one invited here by our own government..
Supt Steve Neill said: "In terms of posing with children, that would be at the request of children or their parents or grandparents.
"What we are trying to say is that these are just police officers who happen to have a gun.
"Don't be alarmed, don't be scared, go and have a chat with them."The police must despair at times. I know I do.