Tag Archives: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Seven million-plus viewers watch counter-terrorism safety video as UK policing increases global CT presence

Counter-Terrorism Policing (CT Policing) has significantly increased its international presence in the last two years, with many more staff currently deployed overseas working with local authorities to help protect British citizens from the global terror threat.

As UK schools break up for the summer holidays and the travel industry prepares for one of the busiest periods of the year, the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism officers are asking holidaymakers to play their part by watching a short video instructing them what to do in the unlikely event of an attack.

CT Policing – in association with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office and the Travel Association ABTA – launched the four-minute film just over a year ago and, since then, more than seven million people have learned how to keep themselves and others safe should the worst happen.

ABTA has also translated the video into 15 different languages for use in multiple countries to improve awareness among the holiday representatives, hotel staff and security officers who look after millions of UK tourists every year.

The video was first created after 30 British people tragically lost their lives in the 2015 Sousse attack in Tunisia.

CounterTerrorismPolicingLogo

Since then, CT Policing’s international footprint has expanded significantly, with increases to the number of officers providing a range of security liaison and advice to other countries, ensuring they’re better prepared to keep people safe when overseas.

This is a ‘whole system approach’ to fighting the threat from global terrorism. By warning and informing citizens, training and advising industry and close liaison with domestic and international partners, each of these strands comes together to better protect the UK and its interests at home and abroad.

Everyone must remain alert

Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, national co-ordinator for Protect and Prepare, said: “The chances of being caught up in a terrorist incident are still low, but sadly we have seen atrocities take place in the UK and abroad, especially last year. That being so, it’s important everyone stays alert and knows what to do if the worst was to happen.”

Aldworth continued: “An important part of my job is deploying police officers and staff around the world to share the UK’s world-renowned security expertise and help better protect our citizens from harm. Now, we are asking the public to play an active part by taking the time to watch this video. We want people to think of this in the same way they do the safety film airlines show before take-off. They don’t expect anything bad to happen, but it’s a sensible safety precaution to show people what to do.”

Security Minister Ben Wallace MP stated:Fortunately, the majority of us will never experience a terrorist attack while enjoying a holiday abroad and there’s no need to be alarmed. However, it’s important that we all remain vigilant to the threat.”

He added: “I urge all holidaymakers to take a moment before heading off on their travels to view the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ advice, which could be life-saving should the worst happen. I also urge everyone to read the small print on their travel insurance to make sure they have the appropriate level of cover.”

Check the FCO’s travel advice

Minister for Counter-Terrorism, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, observed: “We work closely with our international partners to ensure that British holidaymakers are safe overseas. While the chances of becoming caught up in a terrorist event are extremely low, it’s important that people remain vigilant.”

Lord Ahmed urged: “Before going away, do take a moment to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice to make sure you’re aware of what’s going on in the country you’re going to. We encourage everyone to take sensible precautions while they’re abroad. If an incident occurs, remember the key advice to Run, Hide, Tell.”

Nikki White, director of destinations and sustainability at ABTA, concluded: “We recognise the importance of raising awareness and providing clear guidance for our members and their employees. We know that customers would look to those members of staff working in their hotels and resorts to take the lead and respond quickly to an emerging situation.”

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RUSI launches Strategic Hub for organised crime research in the UK and overseas

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has announced the launch of a new Strategic Hub designed to explore and tackle serious and organised crime by way of high level research. The new hub will develop a world class research agenda that meets the needs of both policy makers and practitioners in the field.

The Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research has been initiated in association with the Home Office, the National Crime Agency, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Partnership for Crime, Conflict and Security within Research Councils UK.

The harmful impacts of organised crime in the UK are becoming more visible, from new areas such as cyber crime, trafficking in cultural objects and match fixing through to traditional activities like drug trafficking.

The cost of organised crime in the UK is estimated to be at least £24 billion, with a significant impact on communities, families and individuals. Further afield, organised crime undermines development assistance and contributes to instability.

In response, the Home Office has developed the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy and established the National Crime Agency. The strategy takes an holistic approach to organised crime, seeking to Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare.

RUSI has launched a Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research in association with the Home Office, the National Crime Agency, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Partnership for Crime, Conflict and Security within Research Councils UK

RUSI has launched a Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research in association with the Home Office, the National Crime Agency, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Partnership for Crime, Conflict and Security within Research Councils UK

Addressing gaps in understanding

Despite the Government’s renewed focus on combating organised crime, there are still gaps in the understanding of the scale and nature of organised crime in the UK and overseas, the effectiveness of strategies to disrupt it and pathways into and out of organised criminality. These gaps undermine attempts to address organised crime on a global basis.

The new Strategic Hub will fill this knowledge gap. Bringing together academic researchers and policy makers, the hub will create greater connectivity between policy concerns and rigorous enquiry.

Initially, the Strategic Hub will work with partners and the academic community to assess what strategies are effective at disrupting organised crime, what criminal markets look like and where the vulnerabilities lie in the system. The Hub also aims to develop new methodologies to examine these and related issues.

Priorities will be examined by policy makers, academics and researchers during a conference to be held at RUSI on 8 December 2014.

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National Strategy for Maritime Security launched by Ministry of Defence

The strategy outlines, for the first time, the UK’s approach to delivering maritime security at home and internationally, setting out how the UK organises and uses its extensive national capabilities to identify, assess and address maritime security challenges.

The strategy highlights the importance of the maritime domain to UK prosperity and security. It sets out how, through effective collaboration across Government, with industry and international partners – and through the integration of assets and personnel wherever possible – the UK will deliver maritime security.

Maritime security is a cross-Government activity which brings together 16 Government departments and agencies. At the forefront of these are the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office and the Department for Transport.

Philip Hammond MP: Secretary of State for Defence

Philip Hammond MP: Secretary of State for Defence

Five key priorities outlined

The National Strategy for Maritime Security outlines five main priorities. These are to:

• promote a secure international maritime area where international maritime laws are upheld
• help other nations develop their own maritime security
• protect the UK and the Overseas Territories, their citizens and economies by supporting the safety and security of ports and offshore installations as well as passenger and cargo vessels
• assure the security of vital maritime trade and energy transportation routes
• protect the resources and population of the UK and the Overseas Territories from illegal and dangerous activity

The strategy also introduces a robust Government approach to maritime security decision-making and confirms a commitment to both preserving the flow of maritime trade and upholding international maritime law.

Read the National Strategy for Maritime Security in full

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Robert Hannigan appointed as new director of GCHQ

Robert Hannigan has been appointed as successor to Sir Iain Lobban as director of GCHQ. The announcement was made by Foreign Secretary William Hague with the agreement of the Prime Minister and in consultation with the Deputy Prime Minister.

Robert Hannigan has been the Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 2010. He will take over from Sir Iain Lobban when he moves on from the role in the autumn.

The appointment was made following a recruitment process chaired by Sir Kim Darroch, National Security Adviser, that was open to crown and civil servants.

“I am delighted that Robert Hannigan has been appointed as the next director of GCHQ,” said Hague. “GCHQ’s world class work is vital to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. As well as his impressive personal qualities, Robert brings to the job a wealth of relevant experience in the fields of national security, counter-terrorism and international relations. I’d also like to thank Sir Iain Lobban for his consistently strong and professional leadership as director of GCHQ since 2008.”

Robert Hannigan: the new director at GCHQ

Robert Hannigan: the new director at GCHQ

Commenting on his appointment, Robert Hannigan said: “It is a privilege to be asked to lead GCHQ, an organisation which is so central to keeping the people of this country safe. I have great respect for the integrity and professionalism of the staff of GCHQ and for what they have achieved under the outstanding leadership of Iain Lobban. I am excited about meeting the challenges of the coming years with them.”

The National Security Adviser, Sir Kim Darroch, added: “I am delighted Robert Hannigan has been appointed director of GCHQ. He will bring energy, flair, deep knowledge and extensive experience to the role, and I look forward to working closely with him.”

Darroch continued: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sir Iain Lobban. Iain has been a close friend and colleague over my time as National Security Adviser, and has done an absolutely outstanding job at an exceptionally testing time for the organisation.”

Robert Hannigan: the CV

Robert Hannigan joined the FCO as Director General, Defence and Intelligence on 29 March 2010.

For a number of years he has advised the Prime Minister on counter-terrorism, intelligence and security policy.

Hannigan joined the Civil Service from the private sector, becoming Director of Communications for the Northern Ireland Office.

He was then appointed to be:

• principal adviser to then Prime Minister Tony Blair and various Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland on the peace process, with responsibility for negotiations with the political parties and other groups, and liaison with the Irish Government and US Administration

• the Prime Minister’s Security Adviser and Head of Intelligence, Security and Resilience in the Cabinet Office from 2007, with responsibility for the UK National Security Strategy.

Hannigan has been a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) for many years and was responsible in the Cabinet Office for the funding of the three UK intelligence agencies. He has regularly chaired ‘COBR’ meetings on terrorist incidents.

Hannigan was also responsible for the UK’s first Cyber Security Strategy and oversaw the first National Security Strategy.

Robert Hannigan was born in Gloucestershire, not far from GCHQ, grew up in Yorkshire and studied classics at Wadham College, Oxford.

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