New counter terrorism strategy launched

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has launched an updated counter-terrorism strategy to allow for a more flexible and co-ordinated approach to better prevent, detect and disrupt terrorist attacks.

The attacks in London and Manchester last year prompted a fundamental review of the UK’s counter terrorism CONTEST strategy which has encouraged the Home Office to encourage working in partnership at international, national and local level, between government, agencies, the private sector and communities.

Central to this is the ability of police and security services to disrupt terrorist threats earlier, and, therefore, the new legislation will amend existing terrorism offences to update them for the digital age and better reflect contemporary patterns of radicalisation and to close gaps in their scope. This includes making it an offence to repeatedly view streamed video content online.

Targeting the Prevent stream of the strategy, the expansion of the Desistance and Disengagement Programme, a new element of the Prevent programme, will be further developed to enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to withdraw and rehabilitate.

Javid said: “As Home Secretary my priority will always be to keep our country safe. The threat from terrorism is one of the starkest we face and it is clear there has been a step change. The biggest threat is from Islamist terrorism particularly from Daesh, but extreme right-wing terrorism is also an increasing threat. Both exploit grievances, distort the truth, and undermine the values that hold us together.

“As the threat evolves so must our response. Ultimately, our approach is about ensuring that there are no safe spaces for terrorists to operate – internationally, in the UK or online. Our greatest strength lies not only in what we do but who we are and the values and freedoms we hold dear. That is why everyone has a part to play in confronting terrorism. I want to say to all those who stand up against all forms of extremism that this government stands with you. I stand with you. But there is more for us all to do.”

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