New funding for CT policing but security office faces £50 million cuts

An extra £24 million will be spent on protecting crowded places despite plans to cut more than double that amount from the UK’s anti-terrorism budget.

Sep 19, 2017

An extra £24 million will be spent on protecting crowded places despite plans to cut more than double that amount from the UK’s anti-terrorism budget. Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the “entirely new” investment in counter-terrorism policing as the investigation into the Parsons Green bombing continues. The funding will partially be used to protect against vehicles being used as weapons after the method was seen in three of the six terror attacks in the UK in 2017. However, ministers were urged to “think again” after Home Office documents revealed that the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism’s (OSCT) budget is due to fall from £947 million to £896 million over the next two years. The Government has insisted the cuts to the OSCT will mostly fall on its work related to organised crime, not terrorism. Ms Rudd said: “We have seen several devastating terrorist attacks in quick succession this year, most recently in Parsons Green, and the police have responded to this challenge outstandingly. “The threat we face from terrorism is becoming more complex and diverse. “That is why we are reviewing our counter-terrorism strategy to ensure the authorities have the powers they need to halt terrorist activity and why, today, I have announced £24 million of additional support for counter-terrorism policing this year. “I am grateful to the police, and security services, for all they are doing to keep us safe.” The investment, announced on Sunday (September 18), comes in addition to £707 million already announced to support counter-terror operations this year. The Government has also invested £144 million over this spending review period to increase armed policing capability, and provided another 1,900 security and intelligence experts. The OSCT is responsible for Britain’s overall terrorism strategy, both domestic and international, liaising with the police, MI5 and MI6. It also funds the Government’s Prevent programme, which aims to identify people at risk of being drawn into terrorism. Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Labour’s shadow minister for security who unearthed the figures, described the funding cut as “deeply concerning” given the heightened terror threat in the wake of Friday’s Tube train attack at Parsons Green. “The Home Secretary needs to urgently think again,” Mr Thomas-Symonds added and warned that it would put “further strain on already overstretched police budgets”.

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