Police cuts will make it harder to prevent extremism, Met chief warns

Losing up to 3,000 police officers in London would make it harder to ‘bear down’ on the rise in violent crime and to prevent extremism, the Metropolitan police commissioner has warned MPs.

Cressida Dick told the Commons home affairs committee that counter terrorism officers had been working at an extraordinary tempo with a 30 per cent increase in workload which included thwarting seven potential attacks in seven months, in addition to the attacks that have taken place.

Dick said the police were ‘beginning to turn the tide’ on the rise in violent crime in the capital even though it is still early days. She cited a 25 per cent reduction in ‘moped-enabled crime’ in the last few months.

Dick said: “We have stemmed the tide of that increase primarily through enforcement measures. I certainly hope so. I want to continue to bear down on violent crime in all its forms: sex offences, domestic violence, street crime and terrorism.

“Without more funding quite soon I am really concerned that will be very difficult to maintain ... I am really concerned that we won’t be able to respond to what I anticipate will be one of the logical conclusions of the counter-terrorism review, which is that we need to do more through neighbourhood policing to stop people from becoming violent extremists. I am concerned that other aspects of preventative work will be very hard for my service to do.”

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