The Metropolitan Police should lose its responsibilities for anti-terror policing according to a new report by MPs.
The Home Affairs select committee says the role should be taken over by the new National Crime Agency, leaving the Met “to focus on the basics of policing London.”
MPs say preparation for the transfer “ought to begin immediately” and that it should be completed by 2018.
The report says the move is necessary because of unspecified “current difficulties” facing the Met and its “wide remit which has many complexities”.
However the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) accused MPs of failing to understand the Met’s role and said there was no evidence to suggest the transfer would provide better policing.
In a statement ACPO said: “Counter terrorism policing is not directed through a single lead force but rather has responsibility vested in nine chief constables across the UK in areas where the threat is considered to be the greatest.
“These chief constables act collaboratively and effectively on behalf of all forces, while at the same time maintaining close and critical links into local policing.”
The statement, issued on behalf of ACPO’s Terrorism and Allied Matters Board, added: “The nature of the terrorist threat means that links between the international arena and the streets of our neighbourhoods are a vital feature of our current system, admired and respected by other countries.
“Our continued success relies heavily on front-line policing, whereby local police officers work closely with their communities every day, not least to be able to support those people who may be vulnerable to the risks of radicalisation.
“We are able to gather information from the public because they have confidence in local policing and we work hard to ensure that the enforcement activity we take is carried out in such a way that we can maintain public confidence.”