Former Met Chief says government is lying about the number of armed police on the streets

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Monday 05 June 2017 08:45
news

The government is "lying" about the number of armed police officers on the streets, a former Metropolitan Police chief has claimed .

Peter Kirkham, who was a Metropolitan Police chief inspector from 1981 to 2002 told Sky News' Kay Burley that the "extra" officers on the streets were just existing police putting in extra hours.

He claimed that the Met was "in crisis" and that police officers were being dragged from "pillar to post":

The police service is in crisis as a result of the cuts. They are being dragged from pillar to post. We hear talk of extra police officers on the street.

They aren't extra, they are officers that have had to have their rare leave days cancelled, they have had their 12-hour shifts that are now done routinely being extended to 16 hours, they are being drawn from other areas.

When Sky News' anchor Kay Burley asked him whether it was true there were "more armed police on the streets than ever before", he replied that "people that are alleging that are lying".

Burley:

So the government are lying?

Kirkman:

Yes

Burley:

So the defence secretary is lying?

Kirkman

Kirkman: Yes

This isn't the only time Kirkman has been critical of the Prime Minister.

In an interview with LBC he accused Theresa May of being "criminally negligent with the safety of the public" due to clamping down on controversial stop and search techniques.

A Conservative party spokesman said:

We are supporting the excellent work of the police by providing record funding for counter terror policing.

We are providing £144m over the next five years to increase armed policing, and providing an additional 1,900 officers across the three security agencies so that we can better respond to the threat we face from international terrorism, cyber-attacks and other global risks.

And our record speaks for itself: crime is down by a third since 2010.

Between 2010 and 2014 the number of armed police officers on the streets of England and Wales decreased from 6,976 to 5,875, a fall of 15 per cent according to the Home Office. Figures for 2017 are expected to be published in July.

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