Home Office gives police an extra £50m to fight terrorism

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Police forces across the UK will receive a £50m funding boost in a plan to help them fight terrorism. 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said next year’s police counter-terrorism budget would rise to £757m after convincing Chancellor Philip Hammond that more needed to be done to protect the public. 

The extra money will be made available to enhance the intelligence gathering and surveillance capabilities of the existing force while also paying for more armed officers to patrol city centres. 

Ms Rudd said:  “This represents our commitment to backing the talented and brave counter-terrorism forces with the resources they need to keep people safe.  

“Since 2015 alone we have increased counter-terrorism spending by 30 per cent and pledged more than £500m in increased funding for the counter-terrorism budget, to protect the UK from the ongoing threat posed by terrorism.

“This [latest funding] will allow counter-terrorism policing to meet head on the threat we face, working closely with our communities and continuing to disrupt those who would want to harm us.”

The Home Office has been heavily criticised during the past year for its swingeing cuts to the police who have had to deal with terror attacks in London and Manchester. 

According to Home Office data, the total police officer workforce for England and Wales was down by approximately 13 per cent since September 2010. 

In the days following the knife and van attack in London Bridge which killed eight people, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked Theresa May over the cuts. 

In a speech in Carlisle, he accused her of trying to “protect the public on the cheap”.

He told the audience: “Our priority must be public safety and I will take whatever action is necessary and effective to protect the security of our people and our country.

“That includes full authority for the police to use whatever force is necessary to protect and save life as they did last night, as they did in Westminster in March.

“You cannot protect the public on the cheap. The police and security services must get the resources they need, not 20,000 police cuts.

“Theresa May was warned by the Police Federation but she accused them of ‘crying wolf’.”

Since the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London in May 2013 the counter-terror services have disrupted 22 plots and nine since the Westminster attack in March. 

Intelligence services are currently running over 500 live operations and there were 400 arrests for terrorism related offences in the year to 30 September – up by 54 per cent on the year before. 

Praising their work, Ms Rudd said: “Time and again our police officers have been at the forefront of our response, putting themselves in harm’s way to keep others from danger.

“We will never forget the sacrifice of PC Keith Palmer who was fatally stabbed while defending our parliament.

“This government stands alongside them, ensuring they have the resources, capabilities and powers they need.”

Additional reporting by PA