Serving police officers today backed Donald Trump’s claim that some Muslim communities in the UK are no-go areas because of extremism.
Several Met officers have said the ‘Islamification’ of some parts of the capital requires ‘extra vigilance’ and they can’t wear uniforms for safety reasons–despite Scotland Yard claiming the tycoon ‘couldn’t be more wrong’.
Home Secretary Theresa May tonight rejected Mr Trump’s claims, insisting: ‘The police in London are not afraid to go out and police the streets.’
The US presidential contender caused worldwide consternation yesterday after a string of incendiary remarks about Muslims, including in Britain, and said: ‘We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that police are afraid for their own lives.’
But one serving officer said today Trump had ‘pointed out something plainly obvious, something which I think we aren’t as a nation willing to own up to’.
Another policeman said that he and other colleagues fear being terror targets and spoke of the ‘dire warning’ from bosses not to wear a uniform ‘even in my own car’.
It came as more than 250,000 people–seven people every second–signed a petition demanding Mr Trump is banned from Britain for being a ‘hate preacher’–an idea rejected by Chancellor George Osborne.
Mr Trump has said the US should close its borders to all Muslim migrants and claims parts of Britain are no-go areas because of Islamic extremism.
MPs responded by calling for the property tycoon to be stopped from entering Britain, where he owns several golf courses. Scotland Yard also hit back last night,
But one serving officer in west London said: ‘Islamification has and is occurring’, adding: ‘You have to have extra vigilance in certain parts when you are working’.
He told right-wing website Breitbart: ‘When I was a teenage lad in Burnley there were no go white areas. This is the case still nationally, including London where you have to have extra vigilance in certain parts when you are working’.
A Lancashire Police officer told MailOnline: ‘There are Muslim areas of Preston that, if we wish to patrol, we have to contact local Muslim community leaders to get their permission’.
One officer from Yorkshire said on the online forum Police.Community: ‘I’m not allowed to travel in half blues to work anymore IN MY OWN CAR as we’re ‘All at risk of attack’–yet as soon as someone points out the obvious it’s ‘divisive.’
He added: ‘In this instance he (Trump) isn’t wrong. Our political leaders are best either ill-informed or simply being disingenuous.
‘He’s pointed out something that is plainly obvious, something which I think we aren’t as a nation willing to own up to–do you think a US Police Department would ban officers from wearing their uniforms under jackets etc due to FEAR of their cops being killed by extremists?
‘We implement half measures such as ‘No-one is allowed to come into work half blues, even in your own cars because if you get beheaded it’ll be your own fault.
‘It would be seen as un-American, un-democratic, not the done thing… In the UK though we accept it’.
One female officer in the Met said if a police officer was attacked it would be written off.
She said: ‘Even if one of us did get killed or dragged off in a van. It would just be reported as a ‘one-off incident’ and no reason to change the ‘British style of policing.’
Another Met officer who resigned this year said: ‘I was a PC in the Met for 11 years–I resigned as I couldn’t handle it anymore
‘Whilst provocative Trump’s comments does carry some weight. PCs are not permitted to even come to work in ‘half Blues’ (just wearing trousers and shirt) for fear of attack whilst going to work. That is a directive from Scotland Yard.
‘PCs have come out to find police cars having the brake lines cut and sometimes their own personal cars damaged’.
Another serving police officer agreed and said: ‘Same here regarding the dire warnings of wearing half blues even in my own car and I’m not in London’.
But another officer responded: ‘I don’t think banning people from wearing half blues/blacks (uniforms) on the way in is about fear, I think it’s about minimising risk wherever possible. If there’s enough evidence to support the current threat level then why make life easy for people who will try and target us?’.
Another serving officer told LBC Radio: ‘There has been a time when it’s been advised not to wear half-blues or uniform to and from work.
‘It’s like damage limitation. You try to do the most you can to prevent anything bad from happening.
‘All intelligence is around you and you do the best with that to essentially stay safe. And if that means taking measures to not identify yourself off-duty too much then so be it.
‘It’s covering your backs. It’s a common sense approach’.
In 2014 Tom Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, caused a row when he claimed minority communities had turned their back on police.
He told The Times: ‘There are some communities born under other skies who will not involve police at all.
‘I am reluctant to name the communities in question but there are communities from other cultures who would prefer to police themselves.
‘There are cities in the Midlands where the police never go because they are never called. They never hear of any trouble because the community deals with that on its own. They just have their own form of community justice’.
Mr Winsor said some forces get ‘close to zero’ calls in some areas.
He said: ‘They don’t know what injustices are being perpetrated. It’s almost a closed book because we can’t go there so don’t know. It could be anything from low-level crime right up to murder are the most extreme example. That is murder. There is no honour in it.’
Seven people every second are signing a government petition to ban Donald Trump from Britain for ‘hate speech’ after the tycoon’s claims that police in London ‘fear for their lives’ because some communities are so radicalised.
David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Boris Johnson and even Scotland Yard issued strongly-worded condemnation of the outspoken businessman after he claimed: ‘We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that police are afraid for their own lives.’
Mr Johnson, the Mayor of London said Mr Trump was speaking ‘utter nonsense’ and openly mocked the American, adding: ‘The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.’
A petition on the UK government website to ban Mr Trump from Britain on the grounds of hate speech had attracted more than 200,000 signatures today.
It said: ‘The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.
‘If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.’
In an interview on American TV last night Mr Trump branded people who oppose his plans to ban Muslim immigration ‘foolish’ and insisted he is not a bigot.
He said that criticism of his words–including on London–were politically motivated.
He said: ‘I’m the worst thing that ever happened to ISIS. The people in my party fully understand that–they’re running against me. For the most part, they have no poll numbers. I’m leading by a lot. They get it. They’re trying to get publicity for themselves’.
But speaking at an event at the US Embassy tonight, Mrs May said: ‘I can assure you that Donald Trump has got it absolutely wrong. The police in London are not afraid to go out and police the streets.
‘They do a fantastic job for us day in, day out. We have seen police officers actually go forward in the line of duty when they are required to do so to protect citizens here in London and elsewhere in the UK,’ Huffington Post reported.
Mrs May added: “Politicians should be very careful as we are dealing with the issue of terrorism, as we fight terrorism, we need to be bringing communities together. Bringing greater cohesion in communities, not seeking to divide.”
An Unboxed map showing where people are signing the petition shows the most signatures have come from London, Edinburgh and Bristol.
Now it has reached more than 250,000 it will be considered for debate in Parliament.
Standing in for Mr Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Mr Osborne dismissed Mr Trump’s ‘nonsense’ and insisted the police have a good relationship with British Muslims.
The Chancellor told MPs: ‘Donald Trump’s comments fly in the face of the founding principles of the United States.
‘I think the best way to defeat this nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate and make it clear his views are not welcome.’
He added: ‘That’s the best way to deal with Donald Trump and his views rather than trying to ban presidential candidates.’
Mr Trump sparked global fury after suggesting that all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States in the wake of last week’s deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino where 14 people were killed by two suspected ISIS sympathisers.
In a statement released to the media, Mr Trump said he was ‘calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on’.
He added: ‘Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.
‘I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in. Any of them. The reason is simple: we can’t identify what their attitude is.’
Mr Trump also tried to use the terror attacks in Paris to bolster his argument and said: ‘Look at what happened in Paris, the horrible carnage, and frankly, if you look at Paris, and I hate to do this because the Chamber of Commerce is going to go crazy, but Paris is no longer the same city it was.
‘They have sections in Paris that are radicalised, where the police refuse to go there. They’re petrified. The police refuse to go in there’.
Asked what she would do about the US politician in response to his comments, Walthamstow MP Miss Creasy said: ‘Be clear he’s a hate preacher and therefore not welcome round here.’
The British Prime Minister was quick to condemn the remarks yesterday. Mr Cameron’s official spokesman said: ‘The PM clearly disagrees with the comments made by Donald Trump which are divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.’
‘As we look at how we tackle extremists and this poisonous ideology, what politicians need to do is look at ways that they can bring communities together and make it clear these terrorists are not representatives of Islam.’
Downing Street refused to be drawn on suggestions that Mr Trump should be banned from entering the UK for inciting racial hatred.
But Labour’s shadow home office minister Jack Dromey backed calls for him to barred from Britain.
‘I do not believe that a man who stirs up religious and racial hatred at a time when our country is under threat of terrorist attack should be allowed within 1,000 miles of our shores,’ he told the Birmingham Mail.
Mr Trump responded to his critics by saying ‘I don’t care’ adding that he has no interest in being ‘politically correct.’
He also defended this idea of a ban by claiming the country was at risk of ‘horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad’ and citing a questionable poll that found 25 per cent of Muslims ‘agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global Jihad.’
As the row over his remarks exploded in Britain, Scotland Yard took the unusual decision to issue public criticism of a foreign politician.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong.
‘Any candidate for the presidential election in the United States of America is welcome to receive a briefing from the Met Police on the reality of policing London.’
Zac Goldsmith, Tory candidate to be London Mayor, told a press gallery lunch yesterday: ‘Donald Trump began as a bit of a joke and people probably quite liked the idea of him ruffling feathers and knocking people around a bit during the campaign for selection.
‘But he has gone way beyond being a joke now, he has become overtly an utterly repellent figure in modern politics.’
He added: ‘I think Donald Trump is an appalling creature and I just pray that when America gets off this funfair ride that they’re on at the moment, they recognise that Donald Trump is one of the most malignant figures in modern politics and I hope his campaign ends in absolute disaster.’
Labour’s candidate Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim, said: ‘As a potential future Mayor of London I want to be able to visit and talk to other mayors in America and learn from what they’re doing.
‘If Trump has his way, I’d be stopped at US customs and turned back–alongside other Muslims wanting to go for holidays, work or family visits.’
‘Trump can’t just be dismissed as a buffoon – his comments are outrageous, divisive and dangerous–I condemn them utterly.’
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn said he was ‘was appalled by his comments which have caused deep offence and sought to divide communities for political gain when we should be bringing people together’.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘Donald Trump’s comments are obnoxious and offensive, and have rightly been condemned by people across the political spectrum, in the United States and elsewhere.
‘Mr Trump’s views are repugnant, and they clearly do not represent the mainstream views of people across America.’
Mr Trump, and many of his Republican rivals, had already called on the Obama Administration to halt bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees during the aftermath of the Nov. 13 ISIS attacks in Paris.
At the time, Mr Trump said he would prefer to just take in Christian refugees.
‘The problem is we don’t know if they’re Christian or not. And I would certainly say that would be superior,’ he said in an interview with Barbara Walters several days after the attack.
Other Republican candidates are doing everything they can however to make it clear that while they may want to halt the entry of Syrian refugees, they certainly do not agree with Mr Trump’s plan to ban Muslims.
‘Donald Trump is unhinged. His ‘policy’ proposals are not serious’, said Jeb Bush on Twitter.
Carly Fiorina attacked both Mr Trump and President Obama in her response, saying; ‘Trump’s overreaction is as dangerous as President Obama’s under-reaction.’
Ben Carson also spoke out against Mr Trump, though did call for monitoring of visitors in the country.
‘Everyone visiting our country should register and be monitored during their stay as is done in many countries. I do not and would not advocate being selective on one’s religion,’ said Carson.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul did not attack Trump’s plan or even comment on the idea, instead responding to the question by pointing out legislation he created to block immigrants and visitors from areas with ‘known radical elements.’
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton responded on Twitter: ‘We’ve seen a lot of hateful rhetoric from the GOP. But the idea that we’d turn away refugees because of religion is a new low.’