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UK to spend 50 million pounds more on counter-terror efforts

The British government will spend 50 million pounds more to boost intelligence and surveillance capabilities, and pay for armed officers patrolling the streets as part of its counter-terrorism efforts

world Updated: Dec 17, 2017 18:21 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, London
UK,London,UK terror attack
Armed police officers patrol on London Bridge in London, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (AP File Photo)

The British government will spend 50 million pounds more to boost intelligence and surveillance capabilities, and pay for armed officers patrolling the streets as part of its counter-terrorism efforts.

The rise follows warnings from police and security services of a step change in the threat from Islamist terrorism this year, following a series of attacks across the UK.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd have struck a deal to raise the Home Office budget from 707 million pounds (USD 941 million) to 757 million pounds (USD 1 billion) next year.

Rudd is believed to have secured the extra funding after days of “quiet diplomacy” with the Chancellor.

The extra funds sanctioned for the Home Office will boost intelligence and surveillance capabilities and pay for armed officers patrolling city centres.

“This represents our commitment to backing the brave counter-terrorism forces with the resources they need to keep people safe,” Rudd told The Sun today.

MI5 spies had revealed recently that the security services have managed to thwart nine terrorist attacks on home soil since March, when a vehicle-bound terrorist struck at the UK Parliament complex, killing four people.

That attack was followed by a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May and a vehicle and knife rampage on the streets of London in June in terror attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.

The ruling Conservative party was criticised by Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the general election in June for cutting the number of police officers on streets.

Since 2015, the UK government has increased counter- terror spending by 30 per cent, which includes more armed officers plus an extra 500 million pounds for the Special Air Service, intelligence service MI5 and the Government Communications Headquarters -– the intelligence and security organisation responsible for providing information to the government and armed forces.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 18:15 IST