22 Jun 2022

Counter Terrorism Procurement in the UK: What You Need to Know

All around the world, the face of terrorism is changing. In 2021, acts of religious terrorism declined by 82%. Meanwhile, politically motivated terrorism now accounts for five times as many terror attacks.

As the global political landscape shifts, governments need to adapt to defend against the ongoing terror threat. But recent uncertainty has created new challenges for counter terrorism, particularly in the UK. Most recently, Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic have affected the UK’s approach to terrorism.

Businesses hoping to win security contracts in the UK need to know as much as possible about the evolution of counter terrorism. Could your business play a part in the UK’s counter terrorism strategy?

Read on to learn more about the past, present, and future of counter terrorism procurement in the UK.

What is counter terrorism procurement?

Like any form of procurement, counter terrorism procurement asks businesses to bid for security and defence contracts with the public sector. The public sector then pays the winning business to provide equipment or services. Government contracts tend to be lucrative, so bidding is usually competitive.

To make a successful bid on a public sector contract, it’s important to have a finger on the pulse of what the government actually needs. Your business needs to be up to date on everything from government spend data to new developments in the market.

If you want to stay informed about potential contracts, you need to engage directly with the defence spending community. This will enable your business to anticipate and respond to the demands of the sector. In counter terrorism procurement as in counter terrorism itself, it is always better to be forewarned.

The history of counter terrorism in the UK

Much of the UK’s older counter terrorism legislation was created in response to the extended conflict in Northern Ireland. In 2000, the government passed the Terrorism Act 2000 to simplify the laws surrounding terrorism.

The UK usually passes new counter terrorism legislation in direct response to terror attacks, whether in the UK or elsewhere. In December 2001, for example, the UK government passed the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA). This radically expanded the government’s counter terrorism strategy, in response to the 9/11 terror attacks in New York and Washington.

The government responded to the 7/7 bombings in London with further legislation. The Terrorism Act 2006 made it a criminal offence to publish statements glorifying terrorism in the UK. It also expanded the government’s authority to detain and even deport terror suspects in the country.

The UK continues to update CONTEST, its counter terrorism strategy, in response to new and ongoing terror threats. In 2018, the government pledged to work more closely with the private sector to scale its ability to take on terrorism. That means more contracts, which means more opportunities for businesses just like yours.

UK counter terrorism after Brexit

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its impact has created new challenges in the world of security tenders. With the UK no longer in the EU, the nature of counter terrorism in the UK has changed. This has led to confusion about what the UK is looking for from private sector contracts.

But Brexit has not reduced the threat of terror in the UK. In fact, the tensions surrounding the Northern Irish border have increased thanks to the consequences of Brexit and MI5 is now responsible for counter terrorism in Northern Ireland.

Existing terror threats still need attention, too: for instance, the threat of cyber-attacks on the UK continues to increase every year. While the UK and the EU continue to work together, Brexit has thrown many past agreements into uncertainty. As a result, the UK is more reliant than ever on private sector contracts for its cybersecurity needs.

In short, don’t let Brexit deter you from bidding on UK security contracts. Now more than ever, the UK needs the services your business can provide. Spending on counter terrorism contracts is likely to remain stable.

Counter terrorism spending in the UK

The UK is committed to national security, and it is prepared to invest heavily in protecting against terrorist threats. In fact, over the next decade, the government plans to spend roughly £190 billion on defence contracts for support and equipment. That includes counter terrorism.

More generally, the UK spends roughly 2% of its GDP on defence. This is in line with its commitments as a member of NATO.

The situation in the UK has changed greatly over the last few years. The coronavirus pandemic, in particular, has shown the importance of spending on public health. Still, spending in the sector has been protected since 2015, and has it continued to increase yearly ever since.

What does this mean for your business? In short, it means amazing opportunities. There’s never been a better time to get informed on counter terrorism and security tenders open for bidding in the UK.

Find counter terrorism tenders now

The UK understands the importance of investing in defence and security. Counter terrorism spending is a high priority, and your business could stand to benefit – and to support the security of the UK, too.

At DCI, we understand security tenders. Over the past year, we have published over 1400 security tenders in the UK and the Republic of Ireland alone. We’ve made it our business to streamline your search for counter terrorism contracts, saving you time and money.

Contact us today to request a personalised demo of our services. We’re ready to take your security business to the next level.