Home secretary denies lack of policing resources contributed to Manchester attack

26 May 17

The home secretary has denied the Manchester attack happened because of a lack of police resourcing.

Floral tributes after Manchester bomb attack

Credit: PA

Effective counter-terrorism was the result of a close relationship between policing and the intelligence service, Amber Rudd told a BBC Question Time audience last night.

It came a day after the Police Federation of England and Wales suggested the only reason soldiers had to be deployed onto the streets after the Manchester bombing was because of policing cuts.  

Twenty-two people were killed and 120 injured in the attack on Monday evening after a pop concert at the Manchester Arena.

A Question Time audience member said then home secretary Theresa May was warned in 2015 about reducing the number of police offers, and pointed out the Manchester bombing had now happened when we are “20,000 police offices down” [see figures Home Office figures below].

But Rudd answered: “I don’t accept that. I have asked the head of counter-terrorism whether this is about resources. It is not,” she replied.

“There maybe a conversation to have about policing, we may have that at some stage. But now is not that conversation. We must not imply that this terrorist activity wouldn’t have taken place if there had been more policing.”

Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, speaking of the deployment of troops, said: “As welcome as this is, we cannot avoid the reasons it is needed at all.

“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.

Theresa May approved the deployment of 984 armed soldiers to key locations across the country – mainly London – as part of Operation Temperer.

Operation Temperer is a government security plan that is put into action when a national threat level is raised from ‘severe’ to ‘critical’.

White called on the government to have a “robust debate” about the “tough decisions” required to provide the police with sufficient resources in the future.

Labour leader Jeremy Corybn is expected to say in a speech about 11am today the cuts to the police budget contributed to the atrocity. He is also believed he will link it to British foreign policy.

Home Office figures below show policing numbers in England and Wales:  

DATE                                                                                   POLICE OFFICERS

30 September 2006                                                             141,385

30 September 2007                                                             141,284

30 September 2008                                                             142,232

30 September 2009                                                             144,353

30 September 2010                                                             141,850

30 September 2011                                                             135,838

30 September 2012                                                             131,839

30 September 2013                                                             128,370

30 September 2014                                                             127,077

30 September 2015                                                             125,574

30 September 2016                                                             122,859

Did you enjoy this article?