Review of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy to deal with threats
The government will undertake a complete overhaul of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, to protect its citizens against new, emerging and persistent threats.
In the UK and overseas, there has been a shift towards self-initiated terrorists operating independently of organized groups with increasingly personal ideologies, distorted opinions used to justify violence.
The tactics and methodologies used by terrorists are diversifying and becoming increasingly fragmented.
To address these threats, the Counter-Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST) will be updated to reflect these new challenges. This will involve seeking out a wide range of viewpoints and engaging security experts from across the UK and overseas, so that CONTEST continues to robustly protect the UK public against terrorist threats.
Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said:
Terrorists seek to divide us and sow hatred. We won’t let them. Our commitment to the values we hold dear is too strong.
But as the nature of terrorism continues to evolve and endure, so must we.
We will ensure that our response to the terrorist threat continues to be among the best in the world and will ensure that we have a strategy that allows people to lead their lives freely and confidently.
The update will take into account a range of major reviews, including the second volume of the Manchester Arena Inquiry, which is due for release next week.
In addition, the findings of Prevent’s independent review, led by William Shawcross, will strengthen the government’s ability to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism in the first place.
The Government will do all it can to strengthen the UK’s protection against terrorist attacks.
This includes a renewed commitment to introduce the Duty of Care, which will improve the safety of public places while avoiding placing an additional burden on small businesses.
The UK counter-terrorism system already encompasses the efforts of more than 20 government departments and agencies.
Since 2017 alone, more than 200 recommendations have been implemented in response to the terrorist attacks, including the creation of the world’s first multi-agency counter-terrorism center in London in June 2021.
Counter-Terrorism Police Chief Matt Jukes said:
Since its launch in 2003, CONTEST has proven to be an enduring and effective strategic framework for the UK’s counter-terrorism response, but it should not stand still.
The current threat is dominated by increasingly fragmented ideologies, self-initiated terrorism and the reach of hateful ideologies online in the lives of young people.
It is essential that any future strategy reflects these learnings and looks forward to the collaborations we will need in the future to keep people safe.
Counterterrorism policing, uniquely, has made an evolutionary contribution to all four pillars of the CONTEST strategy and will continue to be at the heart of our preparedness for the terrible times when attacks occur.
The government plans to release an updated and improved version of CONTEST next year. Meanwhile, it will continue to implement an anti-terrorism strategy to ensure public safety.