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Government announces £5m extra funding to protect crowded places from terrorist attacks

Government announces £5m extra funding to protect crowded places from terrorist attacks

HOME OFFICE News Release (068/2009) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 20 April 2009

An extra £5million to protect the public from the threat of terrorist attacks in crowded places was announced by Security Minister Lord West today.

The funding comes as a public consultation is published on how local authorities, businesses, the police and communities can work together to better secure the places where we live, work and play.

New guidance will help local partners understand their roles and the practical difference they can make to reduce the vulnerability of public areas like pubs, clubs, shopping centres, sports stadia and schools.

They will be able to prioritise their work based on advice from police Counter Terrorism Security Advisers (CTSAs) who for the first time are carrying out a standardised risk assessment of crowded places across the country.

Lord West said:

"There is no greater priority for the Government than the safety and security of the public, and all parts of society have important contributions to make.

"The review that I conducted into crowded places showed that a substantial amount of work has been undertaken to increase levels of protective security in our crowded places. But we need to do more to turn available advice into proportionate action on the ground.

"This is not a job for the Government or police alone. We will achieve this by better engaging local authorities, local partners and in particular businesses to encourage them to implement counter-terrorist security advice. That is the purpose of our consultation document 'Working Together to Protect Crowded Places'. We are also launching today practical advice to those involved in planning and building our crowded places on how to design out vulnerabilities to terrorism." Lord West launched the crowded places consultation documents at a regional event in Birmingham to lay out details of the Government's revised counter terrorism strategy - 'CONTEST'.

The strategy - published on March 24 - builds on the successes of the existing policy and provides the basis for a coordinated approach to counter terrorism. It sets out principles which provide the basis for the Government's response to terrorism.

Notes to editors

1. The Prime Minister announced a review of protective security by Lord West on 25 July 2007 following the attempted terrorist attacks on London and Glasgow airport. Lord West's report to Parliament on 14 November 2007 concluded that a new approach was needed to engage local partnerships in protecting crowded places and to design out vulnerabilities to terrorism at the planning and design stage.

2. Today's consultation documents deliver upon those commitments, and reflect work carried out by the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) in the Home Office in conjunction with a wide range of partners including representatives of professional bodies such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Town Planning Institution (RTPI) and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).

3. The Government is making available today a further £5 million in 2009/10 to enable local authorities and local partnerships to put into practice the advice in the consultation documents. This is in addition to the extra £1.5 million already provided to expand the number of police Counter Terrorism Security Advisers (CTSAs) who are responsible for assessing risk and providing specialist advice at local level.

5. "Crowded places" include:

* Bars, pubs and night clubs;
* Shopping centres;
* Sports and entertainment stadia;
* Cinemas and theatres;
* Visitor attractions;
* Restaurants and hotels;
* Major events;
* Commercial centres;
* Health sector;
* Education sector; and
* Religious sites/places of worship.

4. Sector-specific guidance is available from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) website (http://www.nactso.gov.uk). Building on their existing work, NaCTSO and Counter Terrorism Security Advisors (CTSA) have already produced and distributed detailed protective security advice to more than 500 sports stadia, 600 shopping centres and 10,000 city and town centre bars, pubs and nightclubs.

5. The consultation can be accessed at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/

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