Terror threat on rise: Hogan-Howe

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Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Security services have foiled “four or five” terrorist plots this year and the threat is increasing, Britain’s top policeman has warned.

Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the heightened tempo was putting “pressure” on resources – hinting that he expects the Government to boost funding in the Autumn Statement.

The comments, in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, came ahead of the launch of a nationwide terrorism awareness campaign.

Up and down the country, officers will be briefing more than 6,000 people at 80 venues including schools, universities, airports, shopping centres, cinemas and farms in a bid to engage the public and businesses in preventing attacks.

The terror threat level in the UK was raised from substantial to severe a few months ago against a backdrop of increasing concerns over hundreds of aspiring British jihadis travelling to Iraq and Syria to learn terrorist ”tradecraft”.

Sir Bernard said there had been a “change to the frequency and the seriousness of the types of plots we are talking about”.

“We’ve said on average over the last few years it has been one a year. But this year alone we think four or five,” he said.

“Over the last few months, again you will have seen in the press we have made some significant arrests, and (they) have all been followed by charges.”

The Metropolitan Police chief said there was “growing concern” about the possibility of a “lone wolf” attack on the streets of the UK.

“It doesn’t take an awful lot of organising, doesn’t take too many to conspire together, there’s no real complexity to it,” he said.

“What that means is we have got a very short time to interdict, to actually intervene and make sure that these people don’t get away with it.

“So, that is causing real pressure on us in terms of resources and in terms of judgement making, which is a very difficult thing for all involved.”

Sir Bernard said the police and security services “always want more” resources.

“We are talking to the Government, particularly in the area of counter terrorism, to see how we can invest more in that and we hope to hear something in the next few weeks,” he said.

Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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