Half say cuts raise terror risk

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The Independent Online

One in two people think the cuts in police funding will increase the risk of a deadly terrorist attack, a survey showed today.

Two-thirds of the British public think crime will rise as budgets are cut over the next four years and almost three in four think anti-social behaviour will increase, the poll of more than 1,500 adults showed.

Most people also believe the cuts, which will see a 20% fall in funding by 2015, will see police numbers fall and their communities become less safe, according to the survey by Opinion Matters for the London Evening Standard.

The study, carried out over the last two weeks, found 46.2% believe the cuts will increase the risk of a "successful terrorist attack", while 65.3% thought crime would rise and 71.6% expect anti-social behaviour to go up.

The survey came as MPs prepared to vote on the police funding in the Commons.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "We will not support 20% cuts to police funding.

"As we have seen already this will mean at least 10,000 fewer police officers, and is cutting too deep and too fast. Police forces are being put in a very difficult position.

"The Government should listen to people across the country who are opposed to the scale of these cuts and are worried this will undermine the fight against crime in their area.

"We know the strength of feeling in local communities about this and we will be voting against these cuts in the Commons.

"Ministers must go back to the drawing board and come back with a better plan that protects police numbers, and keeps up the fight against crime."

:: Opinion Matters polled 1,508 UK adults aged 18 or over between January 28 and February 8 2011 for the London Evening Standard.