Counter Terror Chief Outlines Policy
Sir Richard Mottram is the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary on Intelligence, Security and Resilience, and explained the Government’s thinking to an audience of security and counter-terror experts at the Counter Terror World Conference in London.
He outlined the Government’s existing counter terror policy, which is “to reduce the risk from international terrorism so that people can go about their daily lives freely and with confidence.”
Sir Richard listed some of the key principles of the policy, including:
· Pursuing existing terrorist organisations, with roles for the Government, armed forces and police.
· Preventing the emergence of the next generation of terrorists.
· Reducing our vulnerability to attack through improved protection of the UK.
· Prepare for the consequences of any attack, so that the impact of terrorism is minimalised. He described the fight against terrorism as “a battle of ideas”, adding: “Everything we do must be viewed through that prism that it is a battle of ideas.”
Sir Richard said efforts to reduce the risk of attack would be underpinned by intelligence and communications, and the success of the policy would be judged on three main issues:
· The level of public confidence.
· Whether we can mitigate the threat and prepare for the consequences of a terrorist attack while still being the society we wanted to be.
· How the Government communicated the policy to the population, and how it appeared to be handling the issue.
But looking at the threat from UK nationals, he stressed that the Government was looking to move the debate away from “an obsessive focus on religion” and think more about people’s identities “ as a whole”.
“What they are saying is that if your Muslim identity is more important to you than your national identity, then from the Government’s perspective that’s fine, but what does that have to do with being a terrorist? Absolutely nothing,” said Sir Richard.
“The deal, as a UK citizen, is that you are not entitled to go around support terrorist acts or blowing people up; that’s not part of the deal. It’s not acceptable, and we will use the morals, rules and values of our society to make sure that it doesn’t happen.”
London’s largest ever security exhibition ran alongside the Counter Terror World conference, featuring more than 150 leading companies including SecurityOracle.com, the website for the security industry. Andrew Greenfield, SecurityOracle.com MD, said: “The standard of debate in the conference was matched by the innovation and technology on display in the exhibition, and we had a fantastic response over the two days from delegates and exhibition visitors alike.”
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