Lack of Armed Police ‘Leaves UK Regions Open To Terrorist Attack’


‘Worrying gaps’ in UK’s ability to respond after police budget cuts, claims shadow home secretary Andy Burnham.

Britain’s regional cities are highly vulnerable to Paris-style terror attacks because they lack the 24/7 armed police cover given to London, the home secretary has been warned by police chiefs co-ordinating counter-terrorism.

Officers at Scotland Yard have briefed Theresa May that “dedicated armed assets” outside the capital are sparse. An exercise carried out by the National Counter-Terrorism Command aimed at examining how the UK’s police would respond to a simultaneous attack on London, Birmingham and a smaller provincial city has further highlighted the perils. A Scotland Yard source said: “Ask a regional force how long it would take them to respond to a terror attack and watch them squirm.”

The revelation comes in the wake of reports that the mastermind of the Paris terror attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, visited the UK on a false passport. It was reported he may have been in Kent before meeting fellow extremists in London. It was earlier reported that he had photographs of Birmingham landmarks on his phone and that he had called numbers belonging to Moroccans there.

Seven terror plots in the UK have been foiled in the past six months alone; the current threat level is “severe”. Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: “It is essential that all our major cities have 24/7 protection from attack. If this is true, it suggests there are worrying gaps in our ability to respond.”

Read more in The Guardian.

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