Think again over police cuts that threaten our fight against terror, Mr Cameron


This article was first published on the Daily Mirror on 22 November 2015. 

The first duty of any government is to keep us safe so we must ensure the police and security services have the powers they need.

This includes the ability to use lethal force when there is a clear and imminent threat, to thwart terrorist atrocities like those in Paris.

These powers should be exercised within a strict legal framework - amongst the principles we’re fighting to protect, after all, is that people obey the rule of law, something the terrorists reject.

But police powers mean nothing if there aren’t enough police, especially neighbourhood police, on our streets.

These are the officers that do the legwork, building the relationships needed to get intelligence to help stop an attack.

Read more: Osborne’s cuts 'could damage UK ability to respond to terror', top cop warns

The national police lead on counter terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, says neighbourhood policing is vital.

The Met Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says London alone could lose 5,000 officers because of Government cuts.

Such cuts will slow down child sex abuse investigations and hamper the fight against serious youth violence.

And the Commissioner was clear this will compromise the fight against terror too.

Prime Minister, you cannot allow this to happen.

The Government must think again before the Comprehensive Spending Review.