Home Secretary Suella Braverman said armed police officers "mustn't fear" being prosecuted for carrying out their duty as she launched a review to "ensure confidence" on Sunday.
It came after officers began handing in their weapons after an officer who killed unarmed drill rapper Chris Kaba was charged with his murder.
The officer, identified in court as NX121, fatally shot Mr. Kaba in the early hours of Sept. 6, 2022, after his car, which was being pursued by police, came to a stop.
The officer has been charged with murder. He was not given the opportunity to offer a plea when appearing in court on Thursday but it is understood he denies murder. His trial has been provisionally set for September 2024.
The charge has prompted some armed officers to refuse to continue to carry firearms.
In a statement emailed to The Epoch Times, the Metropolitan Police said senior officers including Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley have been meeting with firearms officers in recent days "as they reflect on the [Crown Prosecutions Service] decision to charge NX121 with murder."
Many officers are "worried about how the decision impacts on them, on their colleagues and on their families," the statement reads. "They are concerned that it signals a shift in the way the decisions they take in the most challenging circumstances will be judged."
The Met confirmed that an unspecified number of officers have taken the decision to step back from armed duties while they consider their position and the number has increased over the past 48 hours.
"We are in ongoing discussions with those officers to support them and to fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have," the force said.
The Met said it has "a significant firearms capability" and will "continue to have armed officers deployed in communities across London as well as at other sites including Parliament, diplomatic premises, airports etc."
"Our priority is to keep the public safe. We are closely monitoring the situation and are exploring contingency options, should they be required," the Met said.
Armed officers from neighbour forces have been supporting the Met since Saturday evening although Met officers still make up the majority of armed resources deployed across London, according to the Met.
"In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures," the home secretary said. "They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing [and] I will do everything in my power to support them."
"That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all," she said.
Ms. Braverman didn't specify any detail of the review.
By Thursday, Sir Mark said he had met with 70 firearms officers.
The commissioner said after the meeting that while the officers understood "the importance of transparency and accountability and recognise the awful effect on everybody involved on the very rare occasions when lethal force is used by the police" he understood "why many of them are reflecting on the potential price of such weighty responsibilities."
He also said the impact on officers was "exacerbated by the very slow speed that investigations, trials, inquests, and hearings run at, meaning the lives of everyone affected are on hold for many years."
"They were understandably anxious as they consider how others may assess their split second decisions years after the event, with the luxury of as much time as they want to do this, and the effect this can have on them and their families," the commissioner said at the time.