Senior police officers warn Theresa May of 7.2% cut in counter-terror funding

Posted On: 
28th June 2017

Britain's most senior police officers have accused the Government of planning a 7.2% cut in the amount of cash they have to tackle terrorism.

Armed police near the scene of the terror attack at London Bridge.
PA Images

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, as well as the heads of counter-terrorism, the National Crime Agency and the National Police Chiefs' Council, wrote to Theresa May setting out their concerns.

The letter, which was sent in the wake of the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, said: "Under present plans, the counter-terror policing and protective security grant will fall in cash terms by 7.2% over the next two years."

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Challenging Theresa May about it at Prime Minister's Questions, Dudley MP Ian Austin said: "Doesn’t this show that her promise to protect police budgets is not being kept?"

Mrs May said: "We have protected counter-terrorism policing, we've also put money into an uplift in armed policing and the commissioner of the Met has made the point that the Met are well-resourced and have a diversity of tools they can use in countering terrorism. It's not just about the funding, it's about the powers they need and that's what we're keen to ensure."

Speaking afterwards, Labour MP Mr Austin told PoliticsHome: "It is unprecedented for the country's four most senior police officers to write to the government like this and it clearly shows that the Prime Minister's promises to safeguard policing and counter terrorism budgets are not being kept."

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she had received the letter and would be contacting its signatories.

She added: "The issue that they are drawing attention to is, because of the events that we have seen over the past three months, they are under tremendous strain.

"There are additional resources being deployed in order to work on the investigation in Manchester, on the ongoing investigations into some of the terror events.

“We recognise that and will be working with them to see how we can support them going forward."

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "We stand by the figures in terms of what we're doing to protect police funding since 2015 - there's no change in any of those figures."