Mark calls on the Home Secretary to ensure that new funding for security is targeted to support regional and smaller Special Branch units, not just the regional agencies.
It is right that the Government have increased funding for GCHQ, the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service. The Home Secretary mentioned announcing new police budgets soon. What can the Government do to encourage chief constables, city mayors, and police and crime commissioners in the West Mercia, West Midlands and Greater Manchester regions and elsewhere to ensure that those police budgets are targeted in such a way that they support regional and smaller Special Branch units, not just the national agencies?
My hon. Friend is right: it is important not to lose sight of the local support and local impact that is needed. From 2015, we set up the counter-terrorism units, which are units that are based locally and have local information available to them and the sort of local community-based engagement that I know all Members expect.