Independent readers give their verdict on whether police need more powers to tackle terrorism

HeyThe owner of The Street has said he has no plans to give police more powers, despite calls for tougher terror laws after a pro-Palestine rally where chants of “jihad” were heard.

Earlier this week Sir Mark Rowley met Home Secretary Suella Braverman to discuss her request for officers to use the “full force of the law”.

He suggested that laws around extremism should be redrawn as they had failed to take account of “really toxic messages” online.

However, No 10 hints that police are unlikely to have more powers to crack down on chanting and other forms of protest seen as pro-extremism.

We wanted to know if you would call for more powers to allow the police to deal with terrorism. Or are the options already in place sufficient to allow protests to take place without infringing on our fundamental right to free speech?

Independent Readers mostly agreed that officers already had enough powers to deal adequately with terrorist acts. However, many were also critical of the police, citing a lack of “bobbies on the beat”, “training” and “community engagement”.

Here's what they had to say:

“It's almost like he wants a terrorist attack to happen”

The police already have many powers to deal with terrorism. More importantly, given the 30-year war against the PIRA, they should have accumulated plenty of experience.

What they need is greater numbers and higher quality staff. The BBC's focus on fraud this week, for example, revealed a curious reluctance on the part of the police to arrest members of organized crime groups despite members of the public handing them criminals on a plate. It's almost as if too many police officers are only interested in living a quiet life and getting paid their fees.

As for Braverman's outrageous demand that the police and “trusted partners” like the CST (!) inform the Home Office so they can deport people who “seem” to support Hamas, beyond the unilateral and racist cases of this requirement, it seems almost guaranteed to alienate the very communities that would need the police to pass on information to them about possible terrorist activity.

It's almost like he wants a terrorist attack to happen.


Collective punishment cuts both ways”

The civilian death toll in Gaza reaches 6000 with almost half of them children, all killed by the IDF. Our politicians tell us that this is legal and within international law. Clearly something is wrong with these laws.

When they fail to condemn this massacre, they are acting on our behalf as the leading representatives and women in this country. Like it or not, we all become targets for revenge. Collective punishment cuts both ways.

Attacks can happen anywhere in the world at any time. More police won't help. What we need are better, more competent and sensible politicians who don't all act in the same knee-jerk way on the facts just to fall in line with what the dominant world leaders say and do. We need leaders of stature and ability. Harold Wilson resisted enormous pressure from America and kept us out of the disaster of Vietnam.

At the moment the level of British political leaders is abysmal and they are putting us all at risk with their irresponsible statements and actions.


“Our police service is supposed to be part of the community”

The police don't need new powers, they got them in the early 2000s. What they need is training and engagement with the community so they really know what's going on.

Our police service is supposed to be part of the community, it knows the locals, it doesn't act like a big jackpot who only steps in when things go too far.


“We gave up on proper policing years ago”

I recognize terrorism as an attack by foreign nationals living here and their supporters.

Violence against us by local yobs is a matter for the police. We abandoned proper policing years ago by closing police stations and retiring local dads. I literally grew up with a complementary father in the shape of our bobbies patrolling day and night correcting people they found misbehaving.

They knew their pace intimately and provided great support to seniors and seniors. Wild youths and children were corrected very early. The information could be forwarded to higher authorities regarding any event in their patch. The police officer was often ex-military with personal integrity and robust manners and leadership style.