‘Give us more resources,’ Met Police Commissioner says

Counter-terrorism officers near the scene of the attacks at London BridgeImage copyright
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Police shot dead three suspects within eight minutes of the attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market

The Met Police Commissioner and the mayor of London are calling for more policing resources in the wake of the recent terror attacks in the capital.

Sadiq Khan said the city had lost “thousands of police staff” since 2010 and Cressida Dick said she would “obviously” be seeking extra resources.

Theresa May said the Met Police force was already “well resourced”.

Devon and Cornwall Police’s chief constable said police resources needed to be bolstered across the UK.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said all policing areas from counter-terrorism to community policing needed more resources after Saturday’s attack.

He tweeted: “Irrespective of politics, time to increase police resources in all corners of the UK.”

Seven people were killed near London Bridge when attackers drove into pedestrians and launched a knife attack.

Politics and policing

Following the attacks, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the Conservatives of trying to “protect the public on the cheap”, referring to police cuts.

Labour’s Yvette Cooper, the former chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, added “police cuts have gone too far”.

“To lose 20,000 officers wasn’t the right thing for our future and we should be trying to increase them again,” Ms Cooper said.

Labour has pledged to reverse police cuts and to recruit 10,000 more officers for community policing.

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Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police Shaun Sawyer has called for more resources for UK policing

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has defended the government’s record on police funding and the reduction in the number of armed officers.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier: “We had to take difficult decisions in 2010 when we came into office.

“It’s not just about numbers, it’s about powers.”

The Conservative Party’s manifesto does not mention police numbers or funding specifically.

The Liberal Democrats have pledged in their election manifesto to inject £300m for community policing in England and Wales.

‘Up the numbers now’

On Sunday Mr Sawyer paid tribute to the work of officers who responded in London, writing: “More sadness. Thankfulness for the support of the public our heroic thin blue alongside other public services.”

A senior firearms commander in the South West has also been critical of the current officer numbers following Saturday’s attack.

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Police arrived at the scene within minutes of reports of an attack on London Bridge

Sgt Harry Tangye said on Twitter: “We the Police protested re cutting our numbers. We were ignored. You can’t turn the police tap on instantly. We need to up the numbers now”.

The police standards watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, found in March that some forces had “downgraded” 999 calls to help them cope with cuts.

How are forces coping with cuts?

The police standards report found:

Three forces – Hertfordshire, Humberside and Nottinghamshire – had not been “responding appropriately” to emergency calls during inspections.If a force reclassified or downgraded a call because of a shortage of officers, it could then justify a slower response time, inspectors said.The Devon and Cornwall, Hampshire and Sussex forces had assessed domestic abuse victims over the phone rather than face to face.Other forces appeared to be avoiding classifying violent gangs as organised crime because doing so would stretch their resources.

The report concluded that most of England and Wales’ 43 forces were providing a good service, however.

Officer numbers in Devon and Cornwall dropped from about 3,500 in 2010-11 to about 3,000 in 2016.The force was rated as “requires improvement” in the most recent HMIC inspection.

The Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez recently announced plans to introduce 100 more officers on the streets, as well as 50 criminal investigators and 30 online record takers.

Earlier this year, a Devon and Cornwall police officer published a damning resignation letter on social media criticising police for “putting their employees last”.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40156799