The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has welcomed the Government's publication of a revised version of its counter-terror strategy, also known as CONTEST.
Now in its third edition, CONTEST was developed in response to the ever-changing threat of terrorism, aiming to reduce the risk to the UK's people and infrastructure. The latest edition of the strategy has been adapted to reflect the wider scope of terrorist threats we now face from abroad, including the growing threats originating from countries such as Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
The threat from within the UK is also acknowledged by the revised edition of CONTEST. Between January 2009 and December 2010, over 600 people were arrested for terrorist-related activity in the UK, which is more than in any other European country. In addition to Islamic fundamentalism, the strategy also raises concerns around the resurgence of Northern Ireland related terrorism, with the country having seen a total of 40 terrorist attacks in 2010.
Taking into consideration the government's amended security and counter-terrorism policies, CONTEST continues to be arranged around four key workstreams:
* Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
* Prevent: to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
* Protect: to strengthen our protection against terrorist attack
* Prepare: where an attack cannot be stopped, to mitigate its impact
With the scope of terrorist activity broadening, the private security industry continues to play an essential role in protecting the UK from attack.
James Kelly, BSIA Chief Executive, comments: "CONTEST is already a world class counter terrorism strategy which has been developed and is currently being used as a model by other countries as a template for their own counter terror strategies. The BSIA and its members understand the important role they have to play in making the CONTEST strategy become a reality and will seek to work alongside the government and public sector to contribute to the counter-terror effort wherever possible."