War on Terror

Posted On 20 Jun 2018
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Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI: Editor of Risk Xtra

Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI: Editor of Risk Xtra

Reducing the risk posed to the public and preventing the development of safe spaces in which terrorists might operate are at the very heart of an updated Counter-Terrorism Strategy launched by newly-installed Home Secretary Sajid Javid during a speech delivered in central London.

The threat posed by terrorism is moving and evolving, not only here in the UK, but also globally. A marked shift was demonstrated by the appalling attacks in London and Manchester last year which cost the lives of 36 innocent people and changed those of many more forever. These episodes prompted a fundamental review of the UK’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy – ie CONTEST – to respond to the scale of the threat and the speed with which plots are now developing.

The end result of that review process is what the Government describes as a “new, more agile, flexible and co-ordinated approach” designed to better detect, disrupt and prevent terrorist attacks. Where attacks do slip through the security net, the objective of the new Counter-Terrorism Strategy is to help in limiting their impact and enabling swift recovery from them.

Central to the revised Counter-Terrorism Strategy is ongoing partnership working at the international, national and local levels between Government, involved agencies, the private sector and communities. This is going to be absolutely crucial.

The Government’s revised Counter-Terrorism Strategy will be underpinned by new legislation designed to enable the police and the Security Services to disrupt terrorist threats on an earlier footing. This legislation will amend existing terrorism offences, duly updating them for the digital age and reflecting contemporary patterns of radicalisation, while closing gaps in their scope (including making it an offence to repeatedly view streamed video content online). It will strengthen the sentencing framework for terrorism (including by increasing the maximum penalty for certain offences) in order to ensure that the punishment properly reflects the crime and better prevent re-offending. There’s also a desire for further terrorism offences committed overseas to be prosecuted in UK Courts of Law.

Sajid Javid commented: “As the threat evolves, so must our response. Ultimately, our approach is about ensuring that there are no safe spaces for terrorists to operate – internationally, here in the UK or online. Our greatest strength lies not only in what we do, but also in who we are and the values and freedoms we hold dear. That’s why everyone has a part to play in confronting terrorism. I want to say to all those who stand up against all forms of extremism that this Government stands with you. I stand with you. There is more for us all to do.”

The Home Secretary asserts that the threat posed by terrorism is one of the starkest we face. The biggest menace, of course, arises from Islamist terrorism, and particularly so Daesh, but it must be recognised that extreme right-wing terrorism is also a burgeoning peril. “Both exploit grievances, distort the truth and undermine the values that hold us together,” said Javid.

Indeed they do, which is precisely why preventing radicalisation and building resilience must be the core targets.

About the Author
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.