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Diane Abbott questions levels of funding for anti-terror fight

UK News | Published:

Ms Abbott urged the public to be alert but stay calm.

(Lauren Hurley/PA)

There are “concerns” about resources and cuts in police, the shadow home secretary has said, speaking in the aftermath of the terror attack at Parsons Green station.

Diane Abbott said the police and emergency services had responded “magnificently” in the wake of the explosion that injured 30 people during rush hour on Friday, but that it is not possible to keep the British public safe “on the cheap”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, she said: “It is the fifth attack and it is concerning and there are issues about resources and the sustainability of person power when it comes to responding to these attacks.”

(Jonathan Brady/PA)
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

In response to the terror threat being at its highest level, critical, meaning an attack may be imminent, Ms Abbott urged the public to be alert but stay calm.

“I think the increased numbers of armed officers do offer reassurance but, of course, tomorrow morning millions of us will be travelling to work and children will be travelling to school and the point is people should be alert but they should not be alarmed because that’s what the terrorists want to do, they want to scare and disrupt our society,” she said.

She said Labour was committed to funding security officers and 10,000 extra police on the streets, adding: “Although the Government has maintained funding for security services, as such, ordinary police men and women are the front line in getting information about these issues and it’s worrying we’ve lost 20,000 police officers.”

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Asked whether money was better spent on specialist intelligence services, Ms Abbott said: “You’ve got to have a full spectrum response and you’ve got to have people on the ground engaging with communities. We have to look at all aspects of keeping communities safe.”

On Saturday evening a 21-year-old man was arrested in Hounslow by detectives investigating the terrorist attack.

An 18-year-old arrested at Dover on Saturday morning remains in custody at a London police station.

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