- Security TWENTY
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After the Charlie Hebdo magazine-related attacks in Paris, and arrests in Belgium, police have been reviewing ‘security posture’, particularly safety of police officers and Jewish buildings such as schools and synagogues.
Police contacted the Jewish security advice body CST (Community Security Trust), which said that the increase in the risk assessment for the Jewish community (in Britain) was an appropriate and necessary response. CST added that it is on its second-highest threat level, the highest level: meaning an attack was known to be imminent.
ACPO National Policing Lead for Counter Terrorism, Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said: “This is a further step in a process over a number of years of learning lessons from such events. For example, since the attack in Mumbai in 2008, we have enhanced our ability to respond effectively to a marauding terrorist attack by expanding our specialist firearms capability and improving the effectiveness of the response and joint working of all the emergency services. More generally we have continued to refine our plans and to enhance our capabilities to respond to a terrorist threat which has evolved and diversified.
“The global picture of terrorist activity does give us heightened concern about the risk to the Jewish community in the UK. We are seeing continuing anti-Semitic rhetoric from extremists and attacks on this community in France and elsewhere. In addition to our existing security measures, we are in dialogue with Jewish Community leaders about further actions that we will be taking, including more patrols in key areas.
“We remain alert to the vulnerabilities of other communities. Where we do have particular concerns, we make these known to those involved. For example, we continue to be alive to those who want to exploit the current situation and create fear in our Muslim communities, with whom we work closely, to offer our protection and reassurance.
“We are also considering what further measures we might put in place to enhance the security of police officers, given some of the deliberate targeting of the police we have seen in a number of countries across Europe and the world. Chief Constables across the country are reviewing how to strengthen the protection of their officers from such attacks. Our men and women on the front line are used to confronting risk and danger and are well-trained in how to protect the public and themselves.
“The fight against violent extremism relies upon the active support of all communities, to look out for one another in their neighbourhoods and to continue to demonstrate a show of resolve that will eventually help to defy the poisonous ideology of extremists and deny them of opportunities to harm communities. We have been pleased and encouraged by the way that public has responded to appeals to report concerns or suspicious activity. The number of calls to the anti-terrorist and other hotlines has increased significantly over the last few months. This has made an important contribution to keeping the public safe.”