THERESA May’s dramatic deployment of troops in the wake of the Manchester bombing has laid bare Tory police cuts, the leader of the Police Federation has declared.
Hundreds of soldiers were ordered onto the streets on Wednesday and given a very visible role in defending the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace reports the Huffington Post.
But Steve White, who represents rank and file officers across the country, said that the Tory squeeze on resources was underlined by the Prime Minister’s decision to draft in the Army to protect the landmark sites.
White, who chairs the Police Federation of England and Wales, said that the use of the Army was a “significant step change in keeping the public safe”.
“There is no ignoring the fact that we, the police, simply do not have the resources to manage an event like this on our own,” he said.
His complaint was backed up by an anonymous officer who wrote on Facebook that the use of the Army showed how the police were “desperately understaffed”.
Some 20,000 police jobs have been cut since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 and budgets slashed by around 4% every year when May was Home Secretary.
In Essex, it is claimed that over 800 officers have gone.
Essex Tory candidates reply to the cuts appears to be that Essex Police has plenty of money in reserve, a claim dismissed by other parties.
Paratroopers and Guardsmen were filmed and photographed arriving at the Palace of Westminster as they were put under the control of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.
With the UK’s official threat level raised to ‘Critical’ amid fears of an imminent terror attack, the Prime Minister said on Tuesday night that the decision to deploy the troops was an attempt to free up police to conduct intensive patrols.
White, whose members heckled Home Secretary Amber Rudd last week over claims officers were well paid, praised the emergency response in the wake of Monday’s suicide bomb attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Yet he made plain his frustration that years of cuts had left the country’s forces too stretched to carry out their anti-terror duties.