Tag Archives: Prepare

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.

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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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Home Secretary praises National Crime Agency on organisation’s first anniversary

During its first year of operation, the National Crime Agency has “broken new ground in the fight against serious and organised crime” and received due praise from Home Secretary Theresa May for doing so.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy – which was also launched on 7 October 2013 – represent a step change in the Government’s approach to combating serious and organised crime, which is estimated to cost the UK at least £24 billion per annum.

“The National Crime Agency has achieved a great deal in its first year of operation,” stated Theresa May. “Through its close partnership with law enforcement agencies both at home and overseas, the NCA is demonstrating that no-one is beyond its reach.”

The NCA has broken new ground in its investigation of serious and organised crime offences right across the spectrum, including in the area of modern slavery. In its first six months, the organisation achieved over 500 disruptions against serious and organised criminals and secured 300 convictions.

The NCA also co-ordinated a national operation tackling the sharing of child abuse images online. To date, this element of its investigations has resulted in over 600 arrests.

In addition, the NCA has led an international operation designed to tackle malware used for cyber crime and, in parallel, published the National Strategic Assessment – the most authoritative evaluation of the threat to the UK ever put in print.

The National Crime Agency has achieved much in its first year of operation

The National Crime Agency has achieved much in its first year of operation

The NCA is collaborating more closely than ever with law enforcement partners such as HMRC and police forces. Meanwhile, Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) have been strengthened so as to maintain a sophisticated and cohesive regional response to organised crime.

“Now, the NCA needs to build on its strong start and get ahead of the threat,” added the Home Secretary. “This means it must continue to work with a broad range of partners in order to build the best possible intelligence picture and use all of the tools available to disrupt and, importantly, prosecute organised criminals.”

Introduction of the Serious Crime Bill

The new Serious and Organised Crime Strategy is based on the successful framework used for counter-terrorism – Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare – and sets out a comprehensive, detailed cross-Government approach.

As part of this work, the Government has introduced a Serious Crime Bill to ensure that the NCA, the police service and others have the powers they need at their disposal. Measures include the new offence of participation in an organised crime group which targets corrupt lawyers, accountants and other professionals who’ve tried to evade justice by hiding behind a veneer of respectability.

The Government is also building on its success in seizing criminal assets. Over the last four years, around £750 million has been recovered, £93 million returned to victims and in excess of £2.5 billion frozen to put it beyond the reach of criminals.

Measures in the Serious Crime Bill will close loopholes used by criminals to avoid confiscation orders. For example, some criminals attempt to hide money by giving it to third parties such as spouses and associates.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

The Government is committed to working with partners in other European countries – among them Europol and Interpol and also organisations across the private sector – to ensure the UK can act decisively beyond its own borders.

Back in April, the Home Office established a Financial Sector Forum to encourage better information sharing between the Government, law enforcement agencies and the financial services sector and improve the overall response to financial crime.

Tackling the cyber threat

The Government is improving its response to cyber threats by acquiring new technologies and capabilities. For instance, an investment of £860 million is being made over five years through the National Cyber Security Programme. So far, the Home Office has allocated £70 million of that sum to improve law enforcement cyber capabilities.

Last year, the Home Office provided an additional £10 million of funding to the ROCUs, in turn leading to new capabilities that better handle intelligence, protect witnesses and tackle cyber crime and fraud. Further new investments are being made before the end of the year.

“This Government,” continued Theresa May, “has demonstrated considerable progress in the fight against serious and organised crime. After too many years in which organised criminal gangs, their members and their associates ‘got away with it’, we are now sending the clearest possible message. Whoever you are and wherever you are, if you’re involved in organised crime then we will come after you, we will find you, we will prosecute you and we will punish you.”

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