Trident nuclear base at risk of attack if cuts made

Cuts to a police force responsible for protecting the Trident nuclear base could potentially leave Trident at risk of attack, the national chairman of Defence Police Federation (DPF) is to say.

These cuts are to be described in a speech by DPF’s representative Eamon Keating as ‘frightening’ at a time when the UK threat level for international terrorism is severe.

He will say that the threats to withdraw all of the defence policy force presence at two sites on the south coast in order to make savings ‘is frightening from a security perspective’. He will also say that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was seeking £12.5 million savings from the MoD police, which he judges would see the force drop from its nominal strength of 2,600 by 300.

The MoD police has already had cuts imposed, as have other police forces throughout the UK, dropping from 3,500 officers in 2010.

As stated in an advance copy of Keating’s speech to the federation’s annual conference in Stansted, Keating has prepared to warn that the proposed savings will mean a reduction of one in 10 firearms officers and a depletion or removal of police protection from MoD sites.

Keating will say: “If this reset goes forward in order to meet an arbitrarily imposed saving set by the department on our force, then security will be reduced, the risk to terrorist or criminal attack will be increased, and the safety of those we protect – both within the department and with the nation as a whole – will be put at risk,” he will say. In the current climate, where the threat levels are increasing and we have seen three terrorist attacks over the past 12 weeks, where response is limited and its sustainability – nationally – is under question, this type of decision is outrageous and cannot go unchecked. Why would the MoD look to put financial savings, that in the grand scheme of things are minute, over the safety of its people and country?”

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