Corbyn vows to hire thousands more police and spies to tackle terror threat

28th May, 2017 12:01 am

Jeremy Corbyn today vows to invest millions of pounds in hiring 1,000 more spies as Labour sets out its response to the atrocity in Manchester.

Corbyn, who this week repeated his verdict that the war on terror had failed, will pledge to spend more money on expanding the security services and hiring more police and border guards.

The party leader will say the Tories’ “large-scale” cuts have led to a loss of 37,000 workers across police and security.

Yesterday Britain’s terror threat was reduced from critical to severe as Theresa May told Britons to “remain vigilant”.

Corbyn’s intervention comes after a controversial speech in which he linked Britain’s foreign policy – a reference to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – to terror attacks on British soil. It prompted claims from Tories that Corbyn is a danger to the country – although it turned out senior Tories such as David Cameron and Boris Johnson had made similar points.

As polling showed terrorism has moved from fifth to second in the ranking of the most important issues facing the country, Corbyn is due to set out a series of commitments on public service recruitment designed to “make Britain’s communities safer”, including:

  • 10,000 more police officers;
  • 3,000 more firefighters;
  • 3,000 more prison officers;
  • 1,000 more security and intelligence agency staff;
  • 500 more border guards.

“Ensuring the safety of our communities demands properly resourced action across many fronts. It means upholding and enforcing our individual rights, promoting community relations, supporting our emergency services, tackling and preventing crime and protecting us from danger, including threats of terror and violence,” Corbyn is expected to say. 

“Only a Labour government will meet these challenges. As we set out in our manifesto earlier this month, Labour will recruit additional police officers, additional firefighters, additional prison officers and additional border guards. 

“We will also legislate to ensure safe staffing levels in the NHS, including for our ambulance services… 

“As well as full funding for our frontline and first response services, Labour will properly resource the partner agencies in other frontline public services, including schools and colleges, and local authorities. These agencies are charged with a duty to identify those individuals vulnerable to violent extremism but under the current government they have been held back and barely been able to provide their own core services. Only Labour is serious about properly resourcing our security and frontline services.”

Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary who was this month embarrassed in an LBC interview on Labour’s police funding plans, criticised the Tories’ handling of crime.

“One of the great myths of British politics is that the Tories are the party of law and order. The reality is very different. Serious crime is up since the Tories came to office in 2010, and they have cut police numbers by over 20,000 in that time. Theresa May broke her pledge to protect the police budgets,” she said.

“Labour will protect our communities. We will focus on rebuilding community policing, and the ties between communities and the forces that serve them for good reason. It works. Unlike many other countries where the police have long been a quasi-military force standing outside the community, we have a history of policing by consent. We need to rebuild the trust between communities and the police which has been eroded by a combination of police cuts and rising crime.

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