The UK faces an ever increasing threat from terrorism. The threat is international in scope and involves a variety of networks, groups and individuals who seek to advance their aims through acts of violent extremism.
Countering this threat is a priority for the police service and is the primary aim of the national counter terrorism network. By working closely with partners in the intelligence and security services we will safeguard the public, enabling people to go about their lives freely and with confidence.
The UK has a three year strategy for policing terrorism, domestic extremism and allied matters, led by ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee. The strategy is aligned with the Government Counter Terrorism Strategies, currently the National Security Strategy and CONTEST. CONTEST aims to counter international terrorism and comprises of four key strands: Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare.
Counter Terrorism Units work with local police forces to deliver these strategies and co-ordinate local regional and national resources to manage the threat and mitigate the risk to our communities.
In partnership, we will:
- develop public confidence in the police service approach to managing the terrorist threat by exercising our powers proportionately and with respect for the communities we serve;
- prevent people from being drawn towards extremism by tackling the underlying causes and protecting those most vulnerable to negative influences and ideology;
- protect the public by target hardening the UK and enhancing protective services for critical infrastructure sites and crowded places;
- develop a consistent, co-ordinated and response to new, existing and emerging threats and incidents;
- deliver effective and efficient operations to gather evidence and intelligence on suspected networks, groups and individuals;
- enhance information sharing and intelligence flows, enabling accurate and timely information to be delivered to where it is needed most;
- maximise the efficiency, capacity and capability of counter terrorism assets, through effective collaboration;
- deter and disrupt terrorist activity through targeted operations;
- minimise the impact of terrorist investigations on our communities;
- proportionately use all available legislation to pursue and prosecute those involved in violent extremism;
- prepare for the consequences of terrorists incidents by building our capability to respond to an attack and our resilience to recover afterwards;
- build relationships at neighbourhood, Force and regional levels, enabling full engagement of the police service with the counter terrorism infrastructure; and
- support Force delivery of front line policing and community engagement in support of counter terrorism efforts.