Terrorism remains a very real threat to the UK and we mustn’t think it doesn’t apply to us in Cumbria. Indeed today the Prime Minister is in Washington attending the Nuclear Security Summit. The security of nuclear materials for those countries with nuclear programs is incredibly important and we have to ensure we're not at risk from terrorists coming together with nuclear materials.
Here in Cumbria we have a very important strategic Nuclear site at Sellafield and our shipyards in Barrow could be another obvious target for terrorists. The most senior counter-terrorism police officer, Assistant Commissioner of the Met, Mark Rowley has said that up to 50 deadly terror attacks have been stopped since July 2005.
It is good news today that the government has allocated £143M for a further 1000 firearms police officers throughout England and Wales 400 of whom will be deployed outside London. This sees a welcome rise in the number of officers and in addition to earmarking up to 10,000 troops for rapid deployment for counter terror operations, makes the UK response to deter terrorism more credible. I disagree fundamentally with Mr Corbyn and Labour who do not support the use of Armed response, indeed Mr Corbyn would like to disband the Army! And I do believe we must and I will, support those officers who are required to deploy lethal force in the course of their duty. As a society we must remember that they act in our defence.
In addition an extra 40 armed response vehicles and teams across the UK will be up and running in the next 12 months bringing the total to 150.
The key to effective counter terrorism operations is good intelligence and coordination and communication between the agenices involved in detection and arresting the terrorist criminals.
I am the only cadidate for PCC in Cumbria who has any security background and leadership experience. I have been involved in counter terrorism throughout my army career and my staff college dissertation was in counter insurgency and terrorism. If elected I will use my experience, to engage with our communities, so that we all play our part in acting as the eyes and ears of the security services to combat terrorism and keep our county safe.