I’m Glad Our Press Are So Perfect

Well, actually they’re. Not, far from it.

I, for one, am absolutely sick and tired of the British Media constantly playing the Blame Game.

Now that the excitement of yesterday’s fast-moving events is over they have adopted their default stance. Knocking, Sniping, Criticising, Blaming, and pointing out, from their nice warm studios, what exactly could have been done better.

In my opinion, and it is only that, the tragic events in Paris over the past few days were swiftly brought to an end by the French Gendarmes , Special Forces and GIGP. To my mind the authorities excelled themselves with an early identification of the suspects, which I believe was achieved by rapid processing of DNA evidence.

Plain, old-fashioned, balls out bravery was evident everywhere as Gendarmes followed up on leads and sightings, knowing full-well what the end game was likely to be.

Eventually the two Kouachi brothers were located and contained.

Not long after we had the siege at the KosherSupermarket.

It soon became apparent that the two incidents were linked and the Police and Special Forces hatched their plans.

In my opinion they did an excellent job. They didn’t have very much time in which to plan and coordinate between the two scenes. They did not have much previous experience to fall back on, as this scenario, fortunately, does not occur very often.

In the fullness of time we saw the end game unfold live on TV and all I saw was immense bravery by every single person involved.

It was quite obvious that the two operations had been coordinated, but there appears to have been a very slight delay at the Supermarket, POSSIBLY caused by a lack of cooperation from the Media.

Tragically four hostages lost their lives, but TV footage shown on French TV clearly shows their bodies on the floor BEFORE Rapid Entry. Investigations will ultimately confirm it, but it seems very clear that they did not die in the Rescue Operation.

This morning there is no live action for the media to cover, so we are now faced with journalists of several companies picking apart yesterday’s events, looking to see who they can blame for what. The Police and Security Services get a huge chunk of their criticism because these three terrorists had previously come to the notice of the authorities but we’re allowed to roam free and carry out these atrocities unhindered.

The simple answer to that one dear journalists is EVIDENCE. Members of our illustrious media would be absolutely incandescent if we started locking people up without evidence. Surveillance is time-consuming, resource-intensive and expensive. It also provides no absolute guarantees that the events of the past few days could have been prevented.

Maybe it’s possible for whoever ACPO are today to arrange an anti-terrorist exercise and invite representatives of the media to participate. Let them experience at first hand how it feels to contain and confront armed terrorists, have guns aimed at them and discharged, how things evolve in the Command and Control Centre, what it’s like to be in the immediate vicinity of a Flash Bang (Sorry, Stun Grenade), and maybe, eve, explain to journalists that INTELLIGENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE.

I don’t envy or underestimate journalists in war zones, but they do need to play fair with scenarios such as we have just witnessed. If they have all the answers why are they journalists and not Tactical Advisors?

V For Vendetta, V For Vindictive And V Is For Vengeance

All of the above seemingly apply to you Home Secretary, although you’re not really the Home Secretary are you? You’re just another Tory Puppet trying to make Camoron’s 2006 visions become a reality.

A REAL Home Secretary, of any party, would CARE for his/her Police Service.

I know the Federation upset you, but oh deary me, you’re supposed to be a big girl and rise above all that.  Be PROFESSIONAL FFS.

Theresa-May-addresses-the-011_thumb.jpgSince your ill-fated appearance at the Police Federation Annual Conference a while ago you seem to have it in for the Police. Vengeance seems to be your main priority.  Unlike any of your predecessors that I can think of (and they have not all been perfect have they Jacqui Smith?), you appear to be conducting a Vendetta against a Police Service (Force) once the admiration of the entire world.

Since you and your cronies came to power we have had a constant ‘thinning’ of the ranks, unfailingly blamed on Labour, but in reality Camoron’s dream.

You were quick to jump on the Andrew Mitchell Bandwagon, calling for Police Officers to be disciplined for their part in the ‘conspiracy’ to bring down Mr Mitchell. That all ended well didn’t it?

We, the Police Family, are tired of your constant sniping and criticisms.  Dragging up the past, events from a quarter of a century ago may indeed have been wrong, but had NOTHING to do with the vast majority of today’s generation of Police Officers. That is Vindictive.

Constantly the mighty Police Service is being not only kicked in the face by you and your government, but kicked while it is down.  Anybody still serving who tries to put things right from within gets a right good kicking too. Where the hell is the justice in that?  More Vindictive behaviour, and the Home Office just sits back and lets it happen.

Judging by the latest set of figures we are now almost 17,000 officers down on what we had 5 years ago.  Are you proud of that?  We know that Austerity means cuts, but do try to be sensible for once, some things are actually important to the country.  The Health Service is important, and that is finally being recognised and something, hopefully done about it.  The Armed Forces are important but they have been slashed also by your colleagues in Defence.  Education is important and has some of its budget ringfenced.

The main losers in all of this seem to be the Police under YOUR leadership (ha!!)

Some things are too important to be cut.  Even if Austerity ended this weekend it would take generations to get the Police Service back to where it was.  Are you proud of that?

Instead we get Uncle (sorry, Sir) Tom Winsor telling us to ‘work smarter’ and ‘get upstream of the offending behaviour and give proper priority to the need to prevent crime”.  How sanctimonious and condescending is that? Does he think that Police Officers ever forget their Primary Objective which is drilled into them Week 1 of Basic Training.

In 1829 Sir Richard Mayne wrote:
“The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed…….”

We do NOT need reminding by someone who has NEVER been a Police Officer about the need to prevent crime.  More Vindictive comments.

In recent weeks we have seen the tragic attacks on off-duty officers, thankfully not terrorist-related, but every bit as serious and tragic.  Where have the, admittedly unwanted, words of comfort and respect that are traditional from the Home Secretary at times like these?  Nobody wants to hear insincere platitudes, but that doesn’t mean you’re excused from offering them.

Then we did have threats of Terrorist activity aimed at Police Officers, both on and off duty.  WHAT HAS BEEN DONE, OR IS BEING DONE, TO PROTECT THEM?  I don’t want you to reveal the details but I do demand reassurance that something is being done. YOU HAVE A DUTY OF CARE TO THEM HOME SECRETARY.

The security of our nation is now a real concern, and you and Tom Winsor are not helping.  At a time when we need a physical presence to maintain security, you are slashing numbers to the bone, with promises of more cuts to come.  You can hardly call the Army in to help out thanks to the MOD’s far-sighted Human Resource Policy.

How many officers have been ‘lost’ from the Department that provides your (and others) personal security?  Can we do without them?  Are you somehow more important that ordinary folk?  The answer has to be NO, because you come from the public and are elected by the public. You can be replaced.

How long will it be before the tragic events in Paris over the last 24 hours will be repeated in London, Birmingham, Manchester or Edinburgh? Or even Much Wenlock?  It doesn’t matter where, it is far more likely to happen somewhere than nowhere. What are you doing about that?

One thing is certain, the officers that you so clearly despise will, to a man (and lady) DO THEIR JOB, because that is what they do.

Not that you really care but up until this government came to power I always voted Tory.  I will NEVER vote Tory again, EVER. You and your coalition chums have ruined everything that was ever Great about Britain.  Well, we have seen what has happened, and I for one can never forgive you for it.

We’re not stupid, like you clearly think we are, we know that some cuts are necessary, but making cuts all across the board and then pretending you don’t know why things are failing “it must be Labour’s fault” isn’t going to wash any more. We have seen this government  for what they are.

Vindictive, fuelled by Vengeance, conducting a Vendetta.

Make cuts by all means, but you could start by cutting things that are not going to cripple the country.  There is no use in having the ‘strongest economy’ in Europe if everything else about the country has gone to the dogs to achieve that dubious status.

Here endeth today’s rant.

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British Police: Sitting Ducks For Jihadist Fanatics? – A Guest Blog By Chris Hobbs

This has also been published in Huffington Post

As counter terrorism awareness week commences front line police officers in London and elsewhere are becoming increasingly fearful that they are likely to become victims of savage targeted attacks on the streets of the UK by fanatical Islamist jihadists.

Circulating on the police grapevine are alarming accounts which suggest that both police officers and PCSO’s have been recently subject to ‘hostile reconnaissance’ in the vicinity of police stations when off duty travelling to or from work.

Police have every reason to be anxious: Just last month five men were arrested in conjunction with a plot that featured Shepherds Bush Police Station in West London. Images of two police officers and two PCSO’s were recovered during that investigation.

After initially denying that these arrests were anything to do with an ‘extra vigilance’ warning emailed to UK police officers a short while previously, the Met later unusually provided very specific details of the alleged plot after the men had been charged and had appeared in court.

Newspaper headlines the day after the men were remanded in custody made alarming reading and it became clear that the plot allegedly referred to nearby TA barracks as well as the local police station and its officers.

The tragic events in Quebec and Ottawa that left two Canadian soldiers dead after attacks by ‘lone wolf’ jihadists certainly added to concerns. Just a day after the Ottawa murder two police officers were injured in New York, one seriously, after they and two colleagues had been attacked by another ‘lone wolf’ jihadist brandishing an axe.

The four ‘rookie’ officers, wearing full uniform were, at the time, posing for photographs with tourists. They were also armed and managed to shoot dead their assailant. Inevitably this led to largely unarmed British front line officers asking themselves and each other what the end result would be if such an attack were carried out in the UK. The conclusion was inevitable; at least one dead police officer.

The fact is that not only do UK law enforcement officers have to be concerned with those who have travelled abroad to fight or train and self indoctrinated ‘lone wolves’ but with the disturbing number of extremely dangerous criminals. Many of these individuals are gang members who have converted to this extreme form of Islam whilst serving their prison sentences. Most have, what is termed by police, to have ‘access to firearms’ either directly or via ‘armourers’ that supply firearms ‘on demand’ to the underworld.

There is no doubt that the Met’s counter terrorism command will respond vigorously to the threatening implications of any “hostile reconnaissance” but officers themselves are concerned that other than receiving ‘stay vigilant’ advice they are not being kept fully informed of events in relation to the very real threats to their own safety or being afforded additional protection which might, just might, enable them to survive such an attack.

Despite the threat, officers are still not permitted to carry equipment in the form of extendable batons or CS/pepper sprays to and from duty. Within the Met, several appeals have been made to senior managers over the years but all have been scornfully rejected with a clear implication that officers actually risk arrest if they carry their protective equipment when not on duty.

Rank and file firmly officers believe that those who now wish to ‘carry’ should be given the ‘lawful authority’ to do so. This will apply in particular to those who have to travel to and from work by public transport or have to walk some distance to and from their parked vehicles.

Police critics seem to forget that police officers are sworn constables for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Intervening off duty or being recognised as a police officer by the more nefarious elements that plague our society is a precarious business.

Mobile phones have proved invaluable to the off duty officer but they have their limitations. Dialling 999, waiting for the answer, telling the operator which service is required, listening to the operator repeating the mobile number to the control room receiving the call is amazingly time consuming when all hell is breaking loose or you are the individual being attacked.

The situation has now dramatically moved beyond intervening off duty or even being subjected to intimidation and assault by virtue of being a police officer to a very real threat of being attacked, murdered and possibly even beheaded. Clearly much more needs to be done by the Home Office and those of Chief Officer rank to protect police officers other than a ‘watch yourselves’ statement. This should include permission to carry equipment to and from work and perhaps at other times when off duty.

Single crewing or patrolling is bitterly resented by most front line officers and cutbacks have made this even more prevalent. Those cutbacks have meant that assistance for the single officer in many parts of the country can be some distance away and of course there is also the question of litigious and frivolous complaints.

There is no doubt that at present the UK faces a very real terrorist threat from either organised, well trained groups or ‘lone wolves.’ The view amongst front line officers is therefore simply this; operational single crewing or patrolling should no longer be the ‘default position’ and must only take place under specifically designated circumstances.

With the march of technology, urgent consideration should be given to implementing a reliable GPS system which would enable officers to, if they wish, carry a discreet form of panic button. This would be automatically linked to the nearest police control room and would enable off duty officers to summon ‘urgent assistance’ in any part of the UK. Such buttons have been issued to some social workers and others such as community nurses.

Of course none of these precautions would protect on or off duty officers from an attack from well trained, well equipped terrorists but it might buy them some time in the event of a murderous assault such as that launched on the unsuspecting Lee Rigby.

Some UK police forces offer advice and even courses to companies and local authorities in order that they are able to counter what is termed ‘hostile reconnaissance.’ Surely now there is an urgent need for all police officers to receive counter surveillance/hostile reconnaissance training which would probably be of a single day’s duration.

Panic buttons, day courses for 100,000 plus officers plus the end of single crewing ‘by default’ would doubtless have force accountants, already struggling with millions of pounds worth of government cuts, reaching for their valium. In addition the fate of police community support officers would require some major decision making as they are not currently issued with any form of defensive weapon yet are also clearly vulnerable to terrorist attack both on and off duty.

Unarmed officers in London and elsewhere are dependent on their armed colleagues, such as those from the Met’s elite CO19 unit, to come to their assistance in the event of a firearms or terrorist incident.

It took ten minutes for such a unit to arrive at the scene of Lee Rigby’s death during which time unarmed police were ordered not to intervene. CO19 officers themselves are concerned as to their ability to respond to terrorist incidents especially in relation to a multi venue attack. Many Met officers of all ranks believe that the number of Armed Response Vehicles (ARV’s) on the streets of London should be doubled so that at least one ARV would be allocated to each London borough.

Worryingly smaller more rural forces outside London however would take even longer to deploy armed officers and whether inside or outside London, it is doubtful whether unarmed officers would obey orders to ‘stay back’ if one of their colleagues was in the process of being hacked to death and armed assistance was some way off.

The response by Canadian officers and indeed by police officers in most countries of the world to a situation such as that seen in Ottawa, would be far more efficient and effective in terms of sheer numbers of armed officers taking to the streets simply because all carry firearms as a matter of course.

In London and elsewhere, most officers would have to look on helplessly as their armed colleagues did battle with or attempted to hunt down the terrorists. It would simply not be possible to put the numbers of armed officers on to the streets of London or any UK city in a relatively short period of time as the Canadians were able to do.

The view of most UK police officers is still that they would prefer not to be armed yet the death of colleagues or a Mumbai/Nairobi type massacre of British innocents in any of our towns and cities would almost certainly bring about a change in police attitudes.

A major terrorist incident in the United Kingdom would undoubtedly result in a plethora of ‘full and frank’ enquiries. One question that will be asked is how the United Kingdom came to be populated by literally thousands of trained potential Islamist terrorists.

Since the mid 1990’s intelligence has poured in which has clearly shown a constant stream of individuals travelling abroad to countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Syria for the purpose of training or combat. Most foiled terrorist plots in the UK involve at least one individual who has fought or been trained abroad.

Yet ignoring the overwhelming evidence, successive governments have refused to strengthen our ‘chocolate teapot’ border controls. Despite concerns of police, the UK Border Force and the security services, it has, until recently, been a ‘walk in the park’ for individuals and groups involved in illegal terrorist activities abroad.

Increased activity by hard pressed counter terrorist officers at airports has produced some positive results but the absence of meaningful departure controls has still embarrassingly meant that direct travel to Turkey by jihadists or so called jihadi brides has still been possible.

Recently the Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, stated that at least five Britons a week were, notwithstanding the extra police activity, leaving the UK to fight in Syria while just days ago it was revealed that Sidhartha Dhar , despite being on bail for terrorist offences, was able to leave the UK presumably for Syria.

Outstanding work by the police and security services has frustrated numerous terrorist plots yet the pressure, compounded by cutbacks and increased demands on the police in terms of current and historic abuse allegations, pornographic child images, internet fraud and even social media harassment, is beginning to tell.

Added to this, despite denials by Chief Constables, is the collapse of community policing which is a direct result of the cutbacks. Popular safer neighbourhood teams have been decimated which, aside from other ramifications, has adversely affected the quantity of information and intelligence that flowed from communities to police in respect of terrorism. Those officers that remain drown in a welter of crime reports, statements, interviews and taskings so that the sight of an officer actually visibly patrolling and speaking to the public has become as rare as a Banksy cartoon on the walls of Scotland Yard!!!

Front line officers have little confidence that in the aftermath of the shambolic police response to the 2011 riots, senior officers and government have the ability to cope with a scenario whereby terrorists go on a multi-venue rampage or undertake murderous attacks on individual police officers or members of the armed forces.

Sadly Ottawa has perhaps brought that inevitable fateful day even closer and if a major terrorist atrocity occurs in the UK before next year’s general election then the government could stand or fall by virtue of its preparedness and response.

Meanwhile Theresa May’s most recent speech in relation to countering terrorism will only have contributed to the animosity that exists between her and front line officers. There was, perhaps not unsurprisingly, no mention of the current jihadist threat to police officers or of measures to ‘protect the protectors.’

If tragedy does befall the police service, officers will be only too well aware that whilst the terrorist may have wielded the knife, fired the gun or detonated the explosive, responsibility will also rest upon the shoulders of those politicians responsible for our shambolic border controls, devastating cutbacks and morale sapping vilification of, for all its faults, the world’s finest police service.Stay Safe poster

I’ll Have A Pint of Whatever The Home Secretary Is Drinking

Can somebody PLEASE tell an old codger WTF is going on?

In the last couple of months we’ve had (and this is just what my old grey cells can remember)

Theresa May orders police: Stop abusing our terror laws to hack phones and spy on journalists 

“Police are to be stripped of the power to secretly spy on journalists’ phones, striking a major blow for press freedom.”……..”The furore over police hacking journalists’ phones led to widespread calls for urgent reforms to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which allows officers to request call data from phone companies without needing a judge’s approval.”

Well we all know that RIPA is no more used exclusively to investigate journalists than irt is to tackle terrorism. It is a perfectly useful tool in the Police’s Armoury and the only real issue is that that all requests should be AUTHORISED and PROPORTIONATE, NECESSARY and compatible with Human Rights. It would also help if they were Crime-Related.  But no, Teflon Theresa bows to pressure and jumps on the bandwagon, desperate to be more popular and maybe even get some votes next May.  Nothing too cynical there then.

We have also had;
Theresa May introduces new restrictions on stop and search powers

“Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has unveiled a series of measures which will scale back the way police can stop and search suspects.

Tougher thresholds will mean officers in England and Wales are able to use the most controversial form of stop and search powers much less frequently.”

Once again Stop and Search is a perfectly useful tool but it needs to be used properly and in line with the laws. Officers are always accountable for their Stop and Searches, they have had to provide a copy of the Stop/Search record on request for years now, nothing new there. Get the supervising officers to SUPERVISE and I don’t see the problem, every officer accounts for his/her Stop/Searches (and if they can’t they shouldn’t have done it) and what’s the problem?  Why take away or reduce a valid tool in the battle against Crime?

And now we have had;

Theresa May moves to give police powers to identify internet users

“Police are to get powers to force internet firms to hand over details linked to IP addresses in order to help them help identify criminal suspects online.

The Anti-Terrorism And Security Bill will oblige internet service providers (ISPs) to retain information linking IP (Internet Protocol) addresses to individual users.

The home secretary, Theresa May, said the measure would boost national security – but again complained that Liberal Democrats were blocking further steps.”

So she doesn’t like RIPA because it upsets her friends in the media but this is OK?  Seems far more sensitive and intrusive to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I don’t see anything wrong with RIPA either.

Smacks of a Home Secretary who is lost. Up the proverbial and doesn’t know which way to turn. Vote-seeking. Or maybe simply a Home Secretary who doesn’t know what her view is until she’s told, or simply weak in reality and is blown by the wind. Whoever blows strongest gets her support maybe.

Whichever it is, I simply don’t get it.

Blood On Their Hands

I wasn’t really intending to write a post today, but hey ho, one formed in my mind.

In a week that has seen the shocking revelation that there was an alleged plot to assassinate Her Majesty The Queen, I revisited old thoughts.

It was less than a month ago that I posted Buffoonery Without Equal outlying the cuts of nearly 17,000 warranted Police Officers since 2010. PCSOs have also been slashed by this reckless government.

The Army alone has been cut by about. 19.000 with the RAF and Royal Navy also suffering, albeit by less. Police Forces have shed more posts than they are required to. All 3 Armed Forces are at less than their required strength by over 7,000 in total. In whose world does that make sense?

All of these people are people who have sworn their allegiance to The Queen. They didn’t swear allegiance to any Prime Minister or Home Secretary. Does she really want them to go? Did she ever get any realistic say in the matter? No, of course not.

So Cameron, May, Hammond and Winsor, if the unthinkable were to happen and our Queen was murdered/assassinated/topped by these fanatics it may well be because we can no longer defend her and her family adequately from modern-day threats, but you didn’t care about that. After all, no Risk Assessment whatsoever was conducted by Winsor into his his Reviews and recommendations and none were required by the Home Office either. I suspect the MOD are equally rash and incompetent.

In short, Camoron, May, Hammond and Winsor may well end up with blood on their hands, just as much as any terrorist, home-grown or foreign.

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Yes, I know it’s Bliar, but I couldn’t find a Camoron.

Buffoonery Without Equal

According to MI5’s website the Threat Level for International Terrorism today is SEVERE, which is only one less than the maximum of CRITICAL.

Since March 2010 this unelected coalition, led by a man intent on become the least popular Prime Minister ever, has reduced the strength of the Police Forces of England and Wales by almost 17,000 officers, not counting PCSOs and Specials, whose numbers are also being slashed.  The government was hoping to make up the slack by recruiting more Specials, but the evidence doesn’t seem to support that happening.

The Armed Forces fare no better;

If I may quote from the September 2014 UK Armed Forces Monthly Personnel Report

The full time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces was 147,660 at 1 September 2014, down from 148,160 at 1 August 2014 and down from 150,890 at 1 April 2014. This trend is likely to continue due to the SDSR’s decision to reduce the size of the Regular Armed Forces by around 17,000 posts (around 5,000 each from the RN/RM and RAF and approximately 7,000 from the Army). A further reduction of 12,000 to the Army was subsequently announced as a result of the 3ME, bringing the total reduction of 19,000 to the Army.

The requirement for full time trained UK Armed Forces was 154,890 at 1 September 2014, down from 155,460 at 1 August 2014 and down from 159,640 at 1 April 2014. This is likely to continue to decrease as the Services move towards the targets identified in the SDSR and 3ME exercises (RN/RM 29,000 Army, 82,000 and RAF, 31,500) in 2020.

The deficit for the UK Armed Forces trained strength was 7,230 (4.7 per cent of the requirement) at 1 September 2014, compared to a deficit of 8,750 (5.5 per cent of the requirement for trained UK Armed Forces) at 1 April 2014 and a deficit of 2,230 (1.4 per cent of the requirement for trained UK Armed Forces) at 1 April 2013.

At 1 September 2014, all three services the RN/RM, Army and RAF were in deficit (50, 5120 and
2,070 respectively).”
Closer scrutiny of that document shows that the strength of the UK Armed Forces has been below the Required Level since at least 2008.
So the Threat Level is increasing.  We have allegedly 100s of disaffected Jihadis making their way to Syria and elsewhere to fight for a cause.
An unprecedented number of arrests are being made for Terrorism-related offences, Border Controls are virtually non-existent.  It is absolutely impossible for the Police and Security Services to maintain surveillance on even the most serious of suspects for any length of time, resource-sapping activity that one.
So what are our illustrious government doing about it?
I’m not quite sure is the answer.  I’m reasonably confident that SB, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ will be doing absolutely everything within their remits and abilities to keep us safe, but I’m left seriously questioning the sanity of a Prime Minister, Defence Secretary and Home Secretary that can sanction wholesale slaughter of our trained Defenders in such times.  Maybe they’re hoping to just ‘wing it’ till after next May and that any disasters will be on someone else’s watch?
I do hope Alexander the Meercat is standing for election next year, he must be able to do a better job than this crowd.

 

British jihadists ‘walk through’ airports

Below is reproduced a letter from The Independent, 20 June 2014

You may recognise the author, he is one of life’s Good Guys, on the side of the angels;

I find what he had to say deeply disturbing;

“Concerns, recently articulated by David Cameron, referring to the number of UK and UK-based jihadists training and fighting abroad have been expressed by Special Branch and counter-terrorist officers for many years.

In 1995 at Heathrow I stopped two British passport holders who arrived from Pakistan, and the chilling documentation in their possession showed clearly that they had been comprehensively terrorist-trained.

Intelligence poured into Special Branch clearly illustrating the scale of the problem, yet in 1998 Jack Straw, then the Home Secretary, to the fury of police and immigration officers, abolished embarkation (departure) controls.

That means that even in today’s world, ridden with terrorism, 99 per cent of passengers will board flights in the UK without passing under the eyes of any UK law-enforcement officer.

The saving was £3m a year and successive Home Secretaries have ignored pleas for these controls to be reintroduced.

Former colleagues I have spoken to believe that despite the increasing number of arrests of returning jihadists, it is generally far too easy for most of these individuals to enter and leave the UK. As one despairing officer told me it’s a “walk in the park” and most trained UK jihadists remain below the intelligence radar.

Instead of shredding the morale of the police service, who of course will be in the front line when the predicted jihadist attack occurs, today’s Home Secretary, Theresa May, should listen to front-line counter-terrorist and Border Force officers and strengthen our borders.

Chris Hobbs

London”

I just hope that no Home Secretary, current or future, has need to justify and defend this appalling lack of action. Our Border Security is a joke, only beefed up in response to an actual threat, otherwise anyone can come and go.