04 Jun ‘Gaping hole’ in new counter-terror plan
04 June 2018
Calum Macleod, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said: “We welcome any measures that are going to help us in the fight against terrorism, which sadly we have seen more of in recent years, with many innocent lives lost including some of our own, but that is not enough.
“Yes, there will be 2,000 more security and intelligence officers, greater information-sharing among agencies, earlier interventions, new counter-terrorism legislation and a raft of other measures.
“But nowhere is there any mention of extra money for the police to put extra boots on the ground, when we already know that neighbourhood policing is key in combatting terrorism.
“The strategy talks of ‘building strong relationships with communities.’ So why ignore the most powerful weapon of all? Neighbourhood police are the eyes and ears of communities – they are the gateway to building productive relationships, to instilling a sense of trust and gaining vital intelligence.
“Yet over the past few years we have lost 3,500 neighbourhood officers – there are now only around 19,200 in neighbourhood teams across all 43 forces in England and Wales.
“We know the Home Secretary doesn’t intend to revisit police funding until the next Spending Review at the end of 2019. But that’s too late. What is going to be done now? Terrorists are not going to put their evil activities on hold while the Government decides whether or not to loosen the purse strings.
“We urge the Government to take another look at funding a properly resourced police service before it’s too late. We don’t want to be sitting here in 18 months’ time, bitterly regretting that more wasn’t done.