Police leaders in the United Kingdom are worried that cuts to the national police force may hurt the country’s ability to respond to a terror attack similar to the one that happened in Paris last Friday that killed 129 people. In a leaked letter to U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May referencing rumored budgets cuts coming next week, senior police officials wrote that in the fight against terrorism, mainstream policing is key, the Guardian reported Friday.
“Police forces across England and Wales have already seen a reduction of 40,000 officers, and further losses will severely impact on our surge capacity,” the letter read.
The letter asked May to fight against demands for more police cuts. According to the letter, police officials would see a 10 percent cut as extremely difficult but manageable, while saying that any more cuts would decrease security.
George Osborne, the U.K.’s chancellor of the exchequer, is expected to announce up to 20 percent police budget cuts next week, the BBC reported. The counterterrorism budget for the U.K. is expected to be protected, the government has said.
"If there are going to be further cuts to the police service, quite frankly, God help us,” Steve White, Police Federation of England and Wales chairman told the BBC. “We are not going to be able to respond to something on the scale of Paris."
Since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks — which the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, has claimed responsibility for — many western countries have been on high alert. Since the attacks, French police have embarked on multiple raids trying to find suspects in the attacks.
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 15, 2015
Security in New York City has also been ramped up, with police and government officials announcing this week a new counterterrorism unit, according to ABC-TV in New York.
"Get the information and get them before they get us; we've been very successful at that," New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton said, according to ABC-TV. "But they're coming at us much more frequently. But at the same time, we have to be prepared to defend for when an attack occurs."