UK Terror Battle Strains Police

After what seems like weeks of attacks all around Europe, it makes sense that the UK’s police force would double down on counter-terrorism. However, the strain it is putting on policing is ‘unsustainable’ according to the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said that resources from mainstream policing were being diverted to this counter-terror plan, from England and Wales, leading to control room backlogs and slow response times. So far, in 2017, 36 people have died in the UK, where there have been five terror attacks.

The most recent attack would have been last week’s explosion at Parsons Green Tube station, in which 30 people were wounded. Four people remain in custody for the act, including a 17-year-old boy.

Ms Thornton said on BBC Radio 4 that:

‘When we respond to the sorts of attacks we saw only a week ago, it’s not just our counter-terrorist police units, but the whole system of policing that responds. The current level of terrorism added to the strain and stress the force is already under, is causing real problems and is frankly unsustainable.’

Crime is apparently up by 10% due to additional pressures from terrorist acts. Current funding for the services the police provide is ‘no longer enough’ and the counter-terror budget will be cut by 7% in the next three years.

Police Commissioner Cressida Dick is in talks with the government over securing more funding for the Met, she told LBC:

‘Fewer officers and Police Community Support Officers will cut off the intelligence that is so crucial to preventing attacks. Withdrawal from communities risks undermining their trust in us, at a time when we need people to have the confidence to share information with us.’

Given the world’s current climate, counter-terror is vital. Hopefully, the Met can secure more funding.