Socialist Worker

More powers for the cops won’t make us more safe

Issue No. 2557

armed police were on the streets near London Bridge following Saturday’s attack

armed police were on the streets near London Bridge following Saturday’s attack (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Theresa May has said that the Tories will bring in new terror legislation.

New Labour and Tory governments have brought in new terror laws on average every two years since 2000.

These include the Terrorism Act 2000, the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

More than nine different pieces of legislation have been introduced. None has prevented terror attacks.

Police raids sow fear in Manchester
Police raids sow fear in Manchester
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Whenever a terror attack takes place, the police and security services demand more powers.

But these don’t make people safer.

During the London Bridge attack police fired 50 bullets. They say this is because they believed that the attackers had suicide belts.

Allowing cops to do this under a “shoot to kill” policy will increase the likelihood of more innocent people dying.

Police shot one man in the head who was a bystander in the London Bridge area during the shooting on Saturday.

After the 7/7 bombing in London in 2005 police shot dead Brazilian electrician Jean Charles De Menezes in south London.

The head of that operation was Cressida Dick—now the London Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn’s response has been weaker than his response to the Manchester bombing last month, which he linked to imperialist wars.

This time he said May was trying to “protect the public on the cheap”, and called for more resources for the police and security services.

These same security services have been complicit in the “war on terror”, including rendition and torture.

More powers for the police and security services will not protect ordinary people—the opposite is much more likely.


Imperialist wars create the conditions for terrorism

The US military admitted that airstrikes in Syria and Iraq have killed 484 civilians since it began its bombing campaign in 2014.

The US Central Command said the number of dead civilians was up by 132 from 352 in April.

Blame the system that creates terrorism
Blame the system that creates terrorism
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These figures are much lower than outside monitors, who put them in the thousands, but they are a reminder of the reality of US imperialism.

Western forces are officially fighting Isis, a sectarian and reactionary outfit, which claimed responsibility for the London Bridge and Manchester attacks.

Warmongers Donald Trump and Theresa May will want more wars in the Middle East in response.

But more imperialist war will only pour fuel on the fire.

After the US and Britain invaded Iraq in 2003, their occupation faced resistance across Iraqi society.

Unable to win militarily, they turned to divide and rule and stoked sectarianism between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Al Qaida in Iraq, the forerunner of Isis, was a marginal group at the time.

But the chaos and sectarianism provided fertile ground for it to grow.

Seeing the West blowing up Muslims in the Middle East sometimes attracts individuals in Britain to such groups because they want to hit back.

To stop such horrors, we have stop the imperialist wars that give birth to them.


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