05 Jun 2018

Home Secretary sets out counter-terrorism strategy

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has launched an update of the counter-terrorism strategy, which includes plans for MI5 to declassify and share information on UK citizens suspected of having links to terrorism.

The document centres on efforts to reduce the risk to the public and preventing safe spaces for terrorists to operate and will see MI5 share relevant data -initially in trial schemes in London, Manchester and the West Midlands – with community police and local authorities.

The terror attacks in London and Manchester in 2017 prompted a fundamental review of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy – CONTEST – to respond to the scale of the threat and the speed with which plots are now developing.

The result is a new, more agile, flexible and co-ordinated approach designed to better prevent, detect and disrupt terrorist attacks, and where attacks get through, to limit the impact and recover swiftly.

Central to the new strategy is working in partnership at international, national and local level, between government, agencies, the private sector and communities.

This will be underpinned by new legislation to enable the police and security services to disrupt terrorist threats earlier.

Existing terrorism offences will be updated for the digital age and to reflect contemporary patterns of radicalisation and to close gaps in their scope, including making it an offence to repeatedly view streamed video content online.

The sentencing framework for terrorism will also be strengthened by increasing the maximum penalty for certain offences to brig hem in line with the offence committed and to better prevent re-offending.

Terrorism offences committed overseas will also be prosecuted in the UK courts.

Mr Javid: “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, in the UK or online.

“Our greatest strength lies not only in what we do but who we are and the values and freedoms we hold dear. That is 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. But there is more for us all to do.”

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