The US Capitol Police (USCP) said that threats against members of Congress this year has increased by 107 per cent compared to 2020, and that the number is expected to continue to rise.
“As the Department has previously reported, the number of threats made against Congress has increased significantly. This year alone, there has been a 107 per cent increase in threats against Members compared to 2020,” the USCP said in a statement issued on Friday on security recommendations detailed in a third preliminary report by its Inspector General (IG).
“Provided the unique threat environment we currently live in, the Department is confident the number of cases will continue to increase,” it added.
The USCP did not elaborate on the nature of these threats or what it believes is contributing to the increase, reports Xinhua news agency.
It noted its support of recommendations for “increasing threat assessment manpower and restructuring the Department to establish a stand-alone counter-surveillance entity”, adding, however, that “in order to fully implement this recommendation, the Department would require additional resources for new employees, training, and vehicles as well as approval from Congressional stakeholders”.
The third Capitol Police Inspector General report has not yet been released, as the watchdog is expected to testify about its contents next week.
Yet, to illustrate the daunting challenges the USCP has and continues to face, Friday’s statement noted that the third report showed “in 2020, the (US Secret Service), which has more than 100 agents and analysts, had approximately 8,000 cases”.
“During the same time period, the USCP, which has just over 30 agents and analysts, had approximately 9,000 cases.”
The House Administration Committee has announced it will hold a hearing on May 10 entitled “Oversight of the January 6th Attack: US Capitol Police Threat Assessment and Counter Surveillance Before and During the Attack”.
The IG’s previous two reports detailed the department’s “deficiencies” that led to the January 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters.
“Since the events of January 6, USCP leadership team has been working closely with Congressional oversight to seek the needed resources to implement the (Office of Inspector General’s) recommendations, as well as those from other reviews and assessments,” said Friday’s statement.
The Office of the IG supervises and conducts audits, inspections, and investigations involving USCP programs, functions, systems, and operations, according to its website.