Tragic events either side of the 2017 General election identified shortcomings in the number of police officers available to deal with the myriad of duties and responsibilities required of the police. The horrific events in Manchester saw the threat level rise from SEVERE which meant an attack was highly likely to CRITICAL which means an attack was expected imminently. Close to 1000 troops were deployed at locations to supplement and support the police. As a former soldier and police officer let me state quite categorically that the roles are as different as chalk and cheese. Deploying armed soldiers on our street was a recipe for disaster. They simply don’t receive the training that police officers do and it is unfair to put soldiers in such a position.
But what would have happened if the country had gone on to experience a series of Manchester type attacks? Al Qaeda the forerunner of ISIS (DASH) or whatever they choose to call themselves regularly committed multiple offences or offences in quick succession.
Quite apart from the fact that the armed forces have their own resource issues the long-term presence of armed soldiers on our streets is not a desirable solution.
The question I would like answering is ‘Why did we require nearly 1000 troops to support our police whenever UK force has been ‘Forced’ to reduce the number of police officers and yet Teresa May is arguing for more cuts to police numbers.
I can’t help but wonder what the PM’s opinion would be if her personal protection officers were withdrawn in the same manner that police officers have been withdrawn from numerous roles. With so many personal protection officers, bulletproof cars and alarmed properties it’s unlikely that Teresa May will ever be the victim of crime and she almost certainly doesn’t worry about crime the way that large parts of our population do.
How would she feel if her personal protection officers were withdrawn? It might give her a taste of what it’s like to worry about being a victim of a crime because there aren’t enough officers on patrol to discourage or apprehend offenders.