Defense Police Cuts Put U.K. Nuclear Arsenal at Risk, Chief Says

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K.’s nuclear arsenal is at “significant risk” because of staff cuts and low morale in the Ministry of Defence’s police force, its federation chairman Eamon Keating will say Thursday.

Officers feel “devalued and unwanted” as they are paid less than other police forces and have to work later in life, Keating will say at the federation’s annual conference in Stansted, north of London, adding that government budgets are to blame. The force has a shortfall of 200 armed officers, or about 30 percent of the overall workforce, he will say.

“Savings rather than risk are the priority,” he will say, according to extracts of his speech released on behalf of his office.

The specialist officers guard military assets such as the Trident nuclear warheads, the warship HMS Queen Elizabeth as well as the armed forces. Using the regular police in their place makes it easier for potential terrorists to spy on the U.K.’s military assets, Keating will say.

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