Armed police were called upon more than 200 times in the last year.

West Mercia Police deployed armed officers 216 times in the year to March, Home Office figures have revealed.

This was an increase of 10 per cent on the previous year, when there were 196 firearms operations.

Armed officers have been called out numerous times in recent weeks.

In June, a man thought to be in possession of a gun was apprehended in Castle Street, Worcester, by armed police.

The firearm was later confirmed to a BB gun, a type of air gun designed to fire metallic balls.

READ MORE: Man with rumoured gun was actually in possession of BB gun

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Armed police apprehend a man thought to be in possession of a gunArmed police apprehend a man thought to be in possession of a gun

Then, just last week in Evesham, armed police swooped on Bewdley Street after reports of a man waving a gun around in Crown Meadow.

With help from have-a-go-heroes, officers arrested two men, who have both since been released on bail.

READ MORE: Watch as have-a-go heroes help catch suspected gunman

Across England and Wales there was a total of 18,259 police firearms operations in the year to March, up by just 14 on the previous year.

However, this was still a drop compared to the year leading up to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, when there were 19,393 operations.

Dr Liam O'Shea, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, said that officers remain unlikely to actually fire their weapons.

“The rate of police officers discharging a firearm remains low, particularly when compared to countries such as the United States.”

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Armed police officers swooped on Evesham last week after a man was seen waving a gun in Crown MeadowArmed police officers swooped on Evesham last week after a man was seen waving a gun in Crown Meadow

Armed officers intentionally fired a weapon just four times nationally last year – and there has been just one year in the last decade where this number reached double figures.

But Liberty, a human rights charity, has raised concerns about the number of firearms operations carried out by English and Welsh police forces.

Emmanuelle Andrews, a policy and campaigns manager at the charity, said: "We agree that use of firearms should be rolled back, but it’s important to remember that they are not the only dangerous weapons in the police’s toolkit.

"Supposedly ‘less lethal’ weapons like TASERs can and do kill – earlier this year, an officer was charged with grievous bodily harm after he shot a young black man, Jordan Walker-Brown, with a TASER, leaving him paralysed from the chest down."

West Mercia Police has been approached for comment.