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Policing could be at 'significant risk' as resources diverted to counter-terrorism

Policing could be at 'significant risk' as resources diverted to counter-terrorism

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Policing could be at "significant risk" if funding is diverted from police budgets to counter-terrorism, according to a senior police officer.

Mark Rowley, the assistant commissioner at the Met and head of national counter-terrorism policing, warned ministers not to respond to the recent attacks by diverting funds from day-to-day policing.

According to the BBC counter-terrorism policing has already been placed on an "emergency footing" following recent attacks in London and Manchester.

But Mr Rowley warned counter-terrorism was not able to work at "full-strength" because of a lack of funding and that "difficult choices" had to be made.

"It will inevitably push risk to other areas of policing, potentially with significant impact," he wrote in a letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd seen by the BBC.

The Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick echoed this warning, saying her police force needs more resources in order to “do the job” in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks.

Ms Dick is in talks with the Government and Sadiq Khan in the hopes of more resources being allocated after she warned her force is currently financially “stretched”.

“We need the resources to do the job. We’re stretched and I’m talking with the mayor and the government about the resources we need," she said. 

“We undoubtedly need a very capable police service in the future for all the reasons people can see.”

Some £2.3bn was cut from the policing budget from 2010 to 2015. England and Wales’ police officers fell from 144,353 in 2009 to 122,859 in 2016.

The Home Office pledged funding for counter-terrorism would increase by 30% by 2022.

Steve Finnigan, the outgoing chief constable of Lancashire, also raised concerns, saying the cuts to policing have been “too quick and too deep”.

He warned that public safety was now at risk, telling the Guardian: “We are at a tipping point and we need to have an honest conversation. I do think people are less safe in this country now and I say that with a really heavy heart.”

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