Police officers have reacted with dismay after Britain's finance minister, Philip Hammond, failed to come up with any extra money for law and order in his budget on Wednesday, November 22.
Forces across the country have been asked to make huge savings and the Metropolitan Police, which covers London, is facing cuts of £400 million (US$529 million) between now and 2020.
Following a number of terror attacks in London and Manchester earlier this year, and a rise in violent crime, there had been hopes the Chancellor of the Exchequer would release some extra cash.
Mr. Hammond did not mention the police once during his budget speech.
'This Is the Way They Treat the Police'
Ken Marsh MBE, the chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said he was not surprised by Mr. Hammond's attitude.
"This is the way the government wishes to treat their police in this country. I don't expect to get more money next week or next month. But you reap what you sow. Until something very serious happens they will not do anything. And it will, mark my words. They have no appetite to engage with the police. We are off the radar completely. All they want to talk about is Brexit," Mr. Marsh told Sputnik.
Beyond belief that the Chancellor didn't mention policing, counter-terrorism or security despite recent attacks and crime rising across the country. Tory Government cuts are making us less safe. #Budget2017 pic.twitter.com/Nsf7VMonxf— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) 22 November 2017
"There are 20,000 fewer police officers under this government and another 6,000 community support officers cut. You cannot keep the communities safe on the cheap," Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn told Mr. Hammond in Parliament on Wednesday.
Two More Teenagers Murdered in London
London in particular has faced an upsurge in violent, gang-related crime with the 33rd and 34th murders in the capital this year being reported this week.
Our thoughts go out to Jason Isaac's friends and family https://t.co/GvsctYj7XP— Hounslow Chronicle (@HounslowChron) 22 November 2017
Jason Isaacs, 18, received fatal injuries after being stabbed by a teenager on a scooter in Northolt, north-west London, on Saturday, November 18, and Kacem Mokrane, also 18, was killed in Walthamstow, north-east London.
Both killings were believed to be gang-related.
Last month the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, denied the cuts, and the resulting closure of almost 300 police stations and offices, meant the force would be "retreating" from gangs.
"It does not mean we will be less visible and we will in some ways have a greater presence than we once had because we will be more mobile. I am eager that our officers will be seen by the public and that includes the criminals," Ms. Dick told Sputnik.
"I find it incredible that people think we should lose that much extra from our budget," the Commissioner added at the time.
'Reckless Cuts Are Threat to Public Safety'
On the eve of the budget, the Daily Mirror revealed that despite Theresa May claiming to have "protected" police budgets she had actually cut funding by £413 million (US$549 million).
"Ministers have been caught red-handed. These reckless cuts are a threat to public safety," said Labour's Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh.
In August, Peter Kirkham, a former Detective Chief Inspector with the Met, said the Conservatives' policy of austerity since 2010 had decimated policing in the UK.
"The Conservatives have destroyed policing. There is a crisis in policing. It is on the point of collapse, especially the Met," he told Sputnik.