A new multi-million pound counter-terrorism project designed to keep members of the public safe by enhancing collaboration between business, industry and the public sector has been announced by Ben Wallace, Security Minister at the Home Office. This joint initiative will see a ground-breaking interactive online platform developed to provide secure expert advice and training to businesses and public sector organisations that will assist them in developing their own counter-terrorism approaches.
In the event of an attack episode, the platform – which was announced at the Home Office Security and Policing Event in Farnborough – will afford businesses access to timely and accurate information.
The £10 million project is being funded by Pool Re, the terrorism reinsurer, and led by Counter-Terrorism Policing in partnership with the Joint Security and Resilience Centre, which itself is part of the Home Office.
Ben Wallace observed: “This project is one of the first of its kind – a collaboration between the police service, the insurance sector and the Government that will help to keep the country safe and secure. If we are to properly respond to the terrorist threat, we need to ensure everyone plays their part. That’s precisely why partnerships like this one are so vital. I thank Pool Re for its leadership.”
Pool Re’s chairman Geoff Riddell responded: “Pool Re and the insurance industry is uniquely placed to promote resilience, protect the UK’s economic infrastructure and enhance national security interests by improving the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism. We take this responsibility very seriously, and as such are delighted to be collaborating with the Home Office and Counter-Terrorism Policing to deliver this critical initiative. The platform will meet a long-standing need from the private sector for more credible, quality and timely information to be used in protective security and resilience planning.”
Strengthening defences against terrorism
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, the national policing lead for protective security, added: “Since the tragic events of 2017, Counter-Terrorism Policing has been working alongside Government and the private sector to strengthen our defences against terrorism through greater collaboration and information sharing. That’s why this ground-breaking new platform is so important, as it will allow businesses to access credible information 24/7, connect users to experts, provide accredited online training and send direct messages in the event of an attack. All of this will strengthen our front line against the unprecedented threat.”
D’Orsi added: “By supporting this initiative, Pool Re will improve the engagement, collaboration and sharing of information between the private sector, policing and the security services resulting in a better assessment of emerging threats and helping us to work together to keep the UK safer.”
The Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, is committed to building a more integrated relationship with the private sector and increase the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism.
The new platform is being developed primarily for the private sector and is specifically focused on small and medium-sized businesses for whom access to expert external advice can sometimes be costly. Consultation with key partners is already underway and further discussions will continue this year to ensure the platform is fit for purpose.
Technical development will start later in the year.