Just in 2015, Theresa May, then serving as Home Secretary, was confronted by a Manchester policeman about the sad realities of Tory cuts to police budgets, and the dangers this created.
— Andrew Scattergood (@AJScattergood) May 24, 2017
He explained to May how community policing had collapsed, intelligence had “dried up”, and police were practically handicapped. He pointed out how local policing was essential to the prevention of terrorism.
With this officer’s warnings to the then future Prime Minister, it is then unfortunately difficult to be surprised at recent events. In the 5 years of the coalition government, police funding dropped by 20%, leaving the police forces in a “perilous state”, while Theresa promised further cuts should they win the 2015 election.
As this officer warned, police have been forced to leave much of the necessary work ignored, which helps explain why the Manchester bomber was still successful despite being reported to the authorities 5 years ago by a Muslim community worker.
This sadly proves you cannot keep communities safe with an underfunded police force. Police work best when they have a good relationship with both the government and their local communities, and due to Tory cuts, the British police have had neither, and with deadly consequences.
I would love to see June become the end of May, but I am not hopeful.