Police forces in Britain are “struggling to cope” thanks to high levels of immigration, one of the country’s most senior police officers has warned. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, said that officers face difficult challenges due to the speed of immigration and the fact they have to cope with numerous different languages, the Telegraph reports.
Addressing an international terrorism conference in New York, Sir Bernard also warned that the internet is becoming “dark and ungoverned”, with too little being done to tackle online paedophiles and terrorists.
Speaking on immigration into Britain, he said: “We have all seen growth but not at the pace we have seen more recently, so it’s a simple logistical point that the more people that arrive, the more quickly they arrive, all our bureaucracies struggle to cope and the police are no different.”
He also said that local, community policing can be as effective as high-level counter-terrorism operations in combatting extremism, adding: “As much as we are talking about very specialised areas of counter-terrorism, we are careful not to forget we have got officers on the street talking to people.”
However, he said that this can be difficult for newly-arrived immigration communities.
“Our societies are changing apace. Here in New York society is changing – with immigration many people are coming to live here and you will find the same in London,” he added.
“That brings us great benefits, these two great cities are great places to invest, have great economies, great business. But they also bring other challenges and I think the fact that we are able to share experiences and obviously get better plans for the future is a great opportunity.
“What happens in New York and London is we are seeing growth and with growth there is migration as an element of that but what it means is for the police to have community-based policing, it sometimes can be more difficult to integrate with new populations.”