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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

UK Prime Minister toughens up on terrorism

15 November, 2007
Gordon Brown announces results of British counter-terrorism review with promise of wider scale infrastructural changes to protect public places, a wider scope for screening passengers at railway stations and ferry ports and improved training for building supervisors and managers.
The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has announced Britain's plans to further thwart terrorism attempts on the country with a set of measures proposed after a national counter-terrorism review conducted by the Security Minister, Admiral Lord West.

These measures include additional security at key locations identified as being high risk including main line railway stations, ferry ports and infrastructure installations. This will include improved personnel and baggage screening.

Physical security will also be improved at more locations to include measures to prevent vehicles from gaining proximity to key sites and barrier devices to counter ram-raids and car bomb attacks.

Apart from the visible aspects of the new measures, there will also be changes which are less visible to the public such as training of security staff in recognition of risks and suspicious activities along with guidelines for the construction of new buildings so that greater security is designed into them.

The whole package is being wrapped up into a national counter-terrorism strategy which the government will develop and issue.

The results of the review arrived with few surprises and little criticism with even the political opposition managing to restrain itself.

In many ways, the measures still seem to be weak, with as many holes still existing as those that have been filled but this could be due to the fact that there are many aspects of the results that have not been made public so as not to provide any advantage to those that seek to penetrate the growing shield.

We have already seen that the terrorist threat is something that constantly changes and any strategy that the Government takes to counter this threat has to be similarly adaptable. Making it harder to penetrate key installations and to cross borders is one thing but staying ahead of any terrorist's plans and being flexible and agile enough to cope with it is another. It is in this respect that it is hoped that the strategy contains something more meaningful.
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