Neil Coyle: We must give security services what they need to keep us safe

Neil Coyle
REUTERS

When I was elected MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark in 2015 the Met informed me that my community was more likely to experience terrorism than other areas. That was shocking, but sadly correct.

Once again, fear swept through the usually vibrant Borough Market, leaving it bereft of customers. After the 2017 attack, I helped change terror insurance laws and businesses affected on Friday may now be able to access compensation, but the scars from incidents like this run deep and it will take time to rebuild. Our community will overcome again.

The attack ended swiftly, thanks in part to the courageous efforts of civilians. Everyone involved deserves commendation but the attacker’s motives must be examined. There are people who will always hate our way of life, our values and our diversity.

It is a fallacy for anyone, including Jeremy Corbyn, to claim this was “set off” by the Iraq War. This erroneous hypothesis ignored that 9/11 was two years before Iraq and that Paris has suffered multiple atrocities, despite France opposing the Iraq War. Greater resources are required to tackle terrorism in the UK. It is a rising threat as we saw Friday, but also from the far Right. Jo Cox’s murder shocked the country but men have since been jailed for attempting to attack other female MPs. We must ensure appropriate sentencing and examine the loss of control orders and their weaker replacement: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs). The public, and especially communities like mine, deserve to know our security services have every tool available to keep us as safe as humanly possible.

Neil Coyle is Labour candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark