Tag Archives: Counter-Terrorism

Seminar programme announced for ‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’

The full programme has now been announced for the upcoming ‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’ seminar, which will focus on providing businesses in the North West with valuable insights into current security issues facing the region.

The programme will be chaired by Jim Battle, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, and includes a formal opening by Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan QPM. Presenters on the day are as follows:

*Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, Head of the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit, on the changing face of terrorism and the importance of planning and preparation

*Superintendent Marcus Noden with an update on neighbourhood policing and how partnership working through Integrated Neighbourhood Management is being progressed

*A spokesperson from SelectaDNA explaining how synthetically manufactured DNA is proving to be a powerful tool in the fight against crime

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Event logistics

The event takes place on Thursday 29 September at St Ann’s Church, St Ann’s Street, Manchester M2 7LF.

Paul King, chairman of the Manchester City Centre Crime Prevention Panel, told Risk UK: “This free event isn’t to be missed for Manchester businesses, who will be able to find out about the latest security, business continuity and counter-terrorism issues in order to better protect their premises, staff and customers.”

King continued: “Businesses are continually falling victim to acts of crimes and threats, so security is of the utmost importance. This event will offer you the latest advice from a range of policing and security professionals to help better protect your business and prevent crime.”

Doors open at 8.30 am. Refreshments and breakfast snacks will be provided and there will be opportunities to network before and after the event, which is due to end around 11.00 am”.

SelectaDNA and GJD are sponsoring the event and their crime prevention products will be on display.

The event is organised by Manchester City Centre Crime Prevention Panel with the support of Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and Atmaana Business Consulting.

*Online registration is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HJMTLQ6

**For more information on the ‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’ event contact Christine Brooks via e-mail at christine.brooks@atmaana.co.uk

With only limited places left available it is advisable to register as soon as possible

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Delta Scientific’s HD2055 barrier passes 1,000,000 cycles testing procedure

Delta Scientific, the manufacturer of counter-terrorist vehicle control systems, has announced that its HD2055 barrier which will stop a 15,000 pound (66.7 km) vehicle travelling at 50 mph (80 kpm) has just met the criteria of the United States Department of State for continuous operations of one million cycles.

The HD2055 solution was tested from February this year through until July. Testing was conducted in an external setting with exposure to full sunlight and the effects of climatic conditions. Cycle rate on the barrier was four per minute.

“This is another example of why vehicle access control solution buyers need to check for certified equipment,” emphasised Greg Hamm, Delta Scientific’s vice-president of sales and marketing. “Security professionals who need to protect their perimeters from terrorists and errant drivers must have the confidence that their barriers will perform their functions each and every time.”

DeltaScientificBarrierTest

According to the report by the independent test facility: “The barrier system was found to be capable of 1,000,000 continuous operations without failure of any component necessary for continued barrier operation outside of scheduled maintenance.”

Upon impact, the barrier remains in its foundation and the opening stays blocked, providing a multiple hit capability. In its M50 crash test, the HD2055 completely disabled the test vehicle, causing severe damage to the occupant department and power train. The maximum penetration recorded was less than zero.

The P1 penetration rating was given because the penetration beyond the protected side of the barrier was less than 1.0 metre at the lower leading edge of the test vehicle’s cargo bed.

With its 24-inch (61 cm) shallow foundation and aesthetic design, the HD2055 obviates the concerns of interference with buried pipes, power lines and fibre optic communication lines. The shallow foundation also reduces installation complexity, time, materials and corresponding costs. The HD2055 is ideally suited to high water table locations and areas with corrosive soils. It provides low maintenance as all components are accessible from the sides or top of the barrier.

For increased security, the HD2055 leverages Delta Scientific’s proprietary counter-balanced technology to provide a 1.5 second emergency fast operation, thus responding to attacks very quickly indeed.

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Safetell announces preferred supplier agreement with Gunnebo

Safetell, the physical security and asset protection specialist, has announced a preferred supplier agreement with Gunnebo encompassing its range of ballistic, blast resistant, interlocking doors and partitions.

The products will complement Safetell’s existing range of ballistic, blast and attack-resistant products, ensuring they offer a broader range of solutions to meet the demands of specifiers who require a more diverse offering to keep up with the evolving threat posed by terrorists and criminals.

Safetell’s managing director Anton Pieterse commented: “Gunnebo has an excellent track record of producing robust deterrents that exceed customer expectations. Safetell looks to complement this with our existing range and project management prowess to deliver a one-stop shop for anyone looking to mitigate risk and operating cost.”

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Pieterse added: “We’re also excited by the addition of a new partitioning range which allows Safetell to meet the growing demands of blue chip multinationals looking to partition large open plan receptions and atriums; protecting their members of staff from the threat of criminal and terrorist attack.”

Safetell works with both end users and facilities management specialists as a single point of contact, supplying both security products and nationwide security equipment support services. These support services are provided through a nationwide network of directly employed service technicians and Help Desk staff, giving cost savings and complete control over service quality throughout the supply chain.

*For further information visit: www.safetell.co.uk

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Borderpol appoints Peter Vincent as director counselor for International Policy

The Executive Committee of Borderpol is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Vincent as the organisation’s director counselor for International Policy.

Thomas Tass, director general at Borderpol, commented: “We’re delighted to have Peter on board as he brings a wealth of experience to the organisation and will be invaluable in terms of improving our legal and regional representation in the Americas. He’s also a fluent Spanish speaker which will assist is with the aim of extending our reach into South America.”

Vincent told Risk UK: “I’m truly honoured and privileged to have been appointed as Borderpol’s director counselor for International Policy, I’ve long admired the organisation for the incredible work it does to balance counter-terrorism concerns with humane approaches to complicated border issues.”

Peter Vincent is the general counsel of Thomson Reuters Special Services LLC (TRSS), a US subsidiary of Thomson Reuters. Throughout his career, Vincent has served in a variety of senior executive and legal positions in both the public and private sectors.

Prior to joining TRSS in February this year, he was the principal legal advisor for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In addition, he served as ICE’s senior counselor for International Policy, whereupon Vincent advised the DHS Office of the Secretary and the ICE Office of the Director on issues relating to the formulation and execution of the agency’s international diplomatic engagement.

Peter Vincent

Peter Vincent

Prior to that, from November 2011 through until July 2013, Vincent served as the acting director of ICE’s Office of International Affairs (OIA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). With attachés in 75 offices across 48 countries, including seven combatant commands, HSI OIA is the largest international investigative component within DHS.

Working at the US Department of Justice

From November 2006 until May 2009, Vincent served with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) at the US Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, first as the assistant judicial attaché and then as the judicial attaché. There, he advised the DoJ, the US Department of State, the US Department of Defence and various law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies on matters concerning extradition, terrorist organisations, money laundering, mutual legal assistance and narco-trafficking.

During his tenure at the US Embassy, Vincent co-ordinated nearly 500 extraditions to the United States, including the extradition requests for dozens of high-profile leaders of designated foreign terrorist organisations such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the National Liberation Army and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.

In July 2002, Vincent joined the National Security Litigation Team in ICE’s San Francisco Office of the Chief Counsel. As a trial attorney, he represented the Government in immigration proceedings involving terrorists and individuals who had provided material support to foreign terrorist organisations. In addition, Vincent advised the local Joint Terrorism Task Force on issues relating to counter-terrorism and foreign counter-intelligence.

Vincent graduated with High Distinction from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and received a degree in law from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Safetyflex Barriers secures million-dollar deal to take company’s crash-rated products to the US

Security bollard manufacturer Safetyflex Barriers has secured a lucrative million-dollar deal to take its crash-rated products across the Atlantic. The Coventry-based business has just landed an order which will now see its high security anti-terrorist bollards protecting multiple sites across the United States.

The deal follows Safetyflex landing its first US order from across the Atlantic in 2014 and on the back of the firm gaining a coveted patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Marcus Gerrard, director at Safetyflex Barriers (which is part of the GME Springs Group), said the company was delighted with the export growth achieved over the last 12 months.

“Our anti-terrorist barriers and bollards have massive export potential, which is being reflected in the strong level of interest and orders we’ve received all over the world,” he stated. “Since landing our first order in the US, we’ve entered into a partnership agreement with a US-based distributor which is supporting us to realise the full potential of our products across North America.”

Safetyflex Barriers' directors Marcus Gerrard (left) and Rob Gerrard

Safetyflex Barriers’ directors Marcus Gerrard (left) and Rob Gerrard

Gerrard added: “This latest deal is among the biggest export orders we’ve fulfilled. Exporting is vital to the UK economy and we’re proud to be taking our innovative technology and products to new markets, flying the flag for Coventry, the West Midlands and the UK.”

Safetyflex Barriers was launched by the GME Springs Group in 2008 and uses innovative spring steel technology in its barriers, bollards and crash fences to stop vehicle-borne terrorist and criminal attacks against any key asset.

Gerrard told Risk UK: “The reputation of Safetyflex Barriers has grown enormously over the last few years and companies are now literally knocking down our door to work with us. Our crash-rated products are ideal for protecting banks and shop fronts from ram-raids or accidental damage. They’re also ideal when it comes to specifications for high security sites and companies operating in the utilities sector.”

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MPs unite behind counter-terror legislation amendment opposing Temporary Exclusion Orders

Following the introduction of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill by Home Secretary Theresa May, a cross-party amendment has now been tabled opposing the Government’s proposed Temporary Exclusion Orders.

According to fundamental rights and freedoms concern Liberty, Temporary Exclusion Orders (TEOs) would effectively exile British citizens by revoking their passports when outside of the UK and risk exposing them to torture or possibly delivering them into the hands of terror factions.

The proposed amendment to the Bill, drafted by Liberty, would replace TEOs with a Notification and Managed Return Order (NMRO). These would allow the Home Secretary to require airlines and other carriers to notify her of the return plans of those whom she suspected of terrorism abroad. The authorities could then use their existing powers against a suspect when they return to the UK.

Crucially, the Home Secretary would not have the power to revoke passports while individuals are outside of the country.

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, commented: “Instead of abandoning British citizens abroad to the possibility of torture or further radicalisation, shouldn’t we deal with them within the rule of law? This amendment would put some much-needed common sense into this counter-productive and illiberal Bill. We urge Parliamentarians to support it.”

The amendment is supported by the Labour Party’s front bench and the Green Party.

TEOs – and Liberty’s suggested amendment – were debated on the Second Day of Committee Stage of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill on Monday 15 December.

Speaking out against the Government’s proposals

A number of MPs have already spoken out against the Home Secretary’s proposals.

At Second Reading, Sir Menzies Campbell MP said: “I confess that I’m by no means convinced of the legality of what is being suggested under TEOs. What’s the position of someone who declines to accept conditions of return and who is not subject to deportation by the country in which they temporarily find themselves? Are they not de facto stateless in such circumstances?”

Also during Second Reading, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP pointed out: “It’s a fundamental principle of the common law in this country that an individual, unconvicted – the presumption of innocence applies – should be free to reside in his or her own land. The principle of exile, as a judicial or even administrative tool, has not been tolerated in this country since the late 17th Century. Even if exclusion is on a temporary basis, what’s being proposed is a draconian and unusual power being taken by the State. The point has been made that the proposal could be in breach of our international legal obligations by rendering a person stateless.”

Chris Bryant MP said: “TEOs would, in effect, result in the exile – albeit short-term and temporary – of British citizens, in many cases to other countries. All history suggests that such action further radicalises people and makes them more dangerous enemies to this country.”

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Home Secretary Theresa May introduces Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill

Home Secretary Theresa May has introduced “urgently-needed legislation” which will give the UK some of the toughest powers in the world to tackle the increasing threat from international terrorism.

According to the Home Office, the all-new Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill will bolster the UK’s already considerable armoury of powers to disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to fight, reduce the risks they pose on their return and combat the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism.

The collapse of Syria, the emergence of ISIL and ongoing instability in Iraq present significant dangers not just in the Middle East but also in Britain and across the West. Many of the 500 British citizens who have travelled to Syria and Iraq have joined terrorist organisations alongside foreign fighters from Europe and further afield.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

The Bill, which will be enacted at the earliest opportunity, will disrupt those intending to travel by:

*Providing the police with a temporary power to seize a passport at the border from individuals of concern

*Creating a Temporary Exclusion Order that will control the return to the UK of a British citizen suspected of involvement in terrorist activity abroad

*Enhancing the UK’s border security by toughening transport security arrangements around passenger data, ‘No fly’ lists and screening measures

Enhancement of existing terrorism prevention and investigation measures

To deal with those returning to or already in the UK, the Government is:

*Enhancing existing terrorism prevention and investigation measures, including the introduction of stronger locational constraints and a power requiring individuals to attend meetings with the authorities as part of their ongoing management

To support those at serious risk of succumbing to radicalisation, the Government is:

*Creating a general duty on a range of bodies to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism

*Putting Channel – the voluntary programme for people at risk of radicalisation – on a statutory basis

To help disrupt the wider activities of these terrorist organisations, the Bill is:

*Enhancing vital investigative powers by requiring communications service providers to retain additional information in order to attribute an Internet Protocol address to a specific individual

*Amending existing law to ensure that UK-based insurance firms cannot reimburse the payment of terrorist ransoms

Use of these powers – which are consistent with all of the UK’s existing international legal obligations – will be subject to stringent safeguards. These include appropriate legal thresholds, judicial oversight of certain measures and a power to create a Privacy and Civil Liberties Board designed to support the work of David Anderson QC, the current Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

Removal of terrorism-related material

The Bill will sit alongside the existing range of tools already used extensively to combat the terrorist threat, including powers to withdraw the passports of British citizens, bar foreign nationals from re-entering the UK and strip British citizenship from those who have dual nationality.

The Government is also working with the Internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas. Since February 2010, the Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has taken down more than 65,000 pieces of unlawful terrorist-related content.

Speaking about the new Bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “We’re in the middle of a generational struggle against a deadly terrorist ideology. These powers are essential to keep up with the very serious and rapidly changing threats we face. In an open and free society, we can never entirely eliminate the threat from terrorism but we must do everything possible in line with our shared values to reduce the risks posed by our enemies.”

The Home Secretary added: “This Bill includes a considered and targeted set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger by ensuring we have the powers we need to defend ourselves.”

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Responding to the Home Secretary’s announcement that the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill will oblige Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to retain information linking IP addresses with individual users, Liberty’s director Shami Chakrabarti commented: “There’s no problem with the targeted investigation of terrorist suspects, including where required the linking of apparently anonymous communications to a particular person. However, every Government proposal of the last so many years has been about blanket sur‎veillance of the entire population. The Snowden revelations demonstrate that they were even prepared to act outside the law and without Parliamentary consent. Forgive us if we look for the devil in the detail of this new Bill.”

Big Brother Watch director Emma Carr added: “There are key issues to be addressed with these IP-based proposals. For example, there are questions over whether or not this will be technically feasible. Proper safeguards must be introduced to ensure that these techniques are used transparently, that there’s a proper level of authorisation and that the oversight and redress mechanisms can function effectively. Also, if such a measure is introduced, time should then be allowed to ensure that its effectiveness in relation to law enforcement investigations can be evaluated with due care and transparency.”

Disruption of terrorist attacks

The National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism is Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police Service. As far as he’s concerned, countering terrorism has for too long been thought of as the sole preserve of the police service, the security agencies and the Government.

Rowley is calling for people and businesses to be prepared to play their part in keeping the country safe. He said: “The danger posed by violent extremists has evolved. They are no longer a problem solely stemming from countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, far away in the minds of the public. Now, they are home-grown in our communities, radicalised by images and messages they read on social media and prepared to kill for their cause. The tragic murder of Lee Rigby last year was a stark warning to us all about how real and local the threat really is.”

Rowley continued: “Police officers and our partners are continuing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the UK from a terrorist attack. So far this year we’ve disrupted several attack plots and made 271 arrests following counter-terrorism investigations, but the eyes and ears of law enforcement and other agencies alone cannot combat the threat.”

The UK’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST focuses on four key areas: Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. Most of the publicity around terrorism is based on Pursue and Prevent, as these involve arrests, the disrupting of actual attack plots and turning people away from extremism.

AC Rowley is keen to stress that everyone can be doing more to Protect and Prepare, ensuring security in crowded places, the monitoring of our borders and being ready to respond to a terrorist attack.

“We don’t want to scare people, but we do want them to understand the threat and be vigilant to things that are out of place or suspicious and report it to the police. We need businesses to check that their security measures are effective and train their staff to detect potential threats and, if necessary, respond to an attack.”

Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley

Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley

AC Rowley also stated: “Experience shows us that terrorists target busy, well-populated places to ensure that attacks have a maximum impact. Businesses, particularly those in crowded places, have an invaluable role to play in our fight against terrorists, violent extremists and other criminals. Their staff are often the first people to spot signs that something is wrong.”

The police regularly hold security events with businesses, and the Metropolitan Police Service alone gave 29 presentations during 2013 and 2014.

Since the UK terror threat level increased on 29 August, reports of suspicious behaviour have nearly doubled. This is a direct result of reporting by members of the public, and every one of those reports is investigated.

However, AC Rowley wants more members of the public to have confidence in reporting their suspicions. “Please tell us if you know or suspect something,” he urged. “Your information could save lives. We will deal carefully with all of the information passed to us and respond sensitively and proportionately.”

*The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is the seventh major counter-terrorism law introduced in Britain since 9/11. The Bill can be accessed here

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