The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has changed the UK’s threat level in relation to the prospect of international terrorism impacting home shores, with Home Secretary Theresa May announcing that the threat level has moved from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’. A ‘Severe’ rating means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, although at the present moment there’s no intelligence available to suggest that any form of attack is imminent. The official threat level informs security professionals across the public and private sectors as they make decisions about the appropriate level of protection in place across the UK. The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre’s judgements are made on the basis of the latest intelligence and represent decisions taken independently of Government ministers. There are five levels of threat, as follows: *Critical: an attack is expected imminently *Severe: an attack is highly likely *Substantial: an attack is a strong possibility *Moderate: an attack is possible but not likely *Low: an attack is unlikely Developments in Syria and Iraq Announcing the change, Home Secretary Theresa May (pictured) said:” The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West. Some of these plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have travelled there from the UK and Europe to take part in those conflicts.” May continued:” The first and most important duty of Government is the protection of the British people. We have already taken steps to amend our powers and increase our capabilities for dealing with the developing terrorist threats which we face. That process will continue, and the British public should be in no doubt that we will take the strongest possible action to protect our national security.” In conclusion, the Home Secretary stated:” We face a real and serious threat in the UK from international terrorism. I would urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police service.” Statement issued by ACPO ACPO’s National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said:” The threat level from international terrorism has changed from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’ in response to the developments in Syria and Iraq. This means it’s highly likely that a terrorist attack could happen in the UK. We therefore continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police service. We need communities and families to bring to our attention anyone they perceive may be vulnerable, a danger or escalating towards terrorism. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.” Rowley continued:” Public safety is our priority, and we have a variety of established operational tactics that are regularly used to ensure that the UK is both well prepared and protected. Over the years, we have built capabilities and enhanced our security arrangements against a consistently high level of threat. Much of this is already in place. Our aim is to reduce the risk to the public, and we keep our security arrangements under constant review in line with the threat we face.” In addition, Rowley commented:” We have activated the established planning mechanisms across the police service, co-ordinated by myself as National Policing Lead on Counter-Terrorism. This will lead to enhanced prevention and preparedness.” To conclude, Rowley went on to state:” We will begin to increase our levels of visible patrols and implement other security and protection measures. We will also build on existing community relations to provide reassurance and seek communities’ support and assistance in keeping the UK safe.”
UK terror threat level raised from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.