The threat level posed in the UK from terrorism has been reduced to ‘Substantial’, meaning that an attack on the mainland is likely. The decision to lower the assessment from ‘Severe’ – meaning an attack is highly likely – was made by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), which is based at Thames House in London. This is an independent body of experts who evaluate available intelligence alongside terrorist capability and intentions.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of Counter-Terrorism Policing, commented: “The reduction to ‘Substantial’ indicates positive developments in reducing the threat from terrorism, but still means an attack is likely. Counter-Terrorism Policing has around 800 live counter-terrorism investigations nationally, while 24 attack plots have been thwarted since the atrocity in Westminster in March 2017. It’s vital that we all maintain a high level of vigilance and continue to invest in strong protective security measures designed to deter future attacks.”
The festive period is fast approaching and, coupled with a General Election in early December, the UK’s towns and cities will be extremely busy. Officers will continue to monitor the threat locally and respond appropriately. There will not be any change to the police service’s levels of commitment when it comes to protecting communities.
In July this year the threat level system was changed to reflect all forms of terrorism, including from right and left wing terrorism. The UK was last at ‘Substantial’ in August 2014. Since then it has been at ‘Severe’, rising briefly to ‘Critical’ on two occasions in May and September 2017.