MI5 and police will be alerted to suspicious purchases – such as large amounts of chemicals – more quickly under new anti-terror plans.
In a speech this morning, Home Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to say the government wants to work more closely with businesses to eradicate the “safe spaces” exploited by extremists.
He will also defend the controversial Prevent scheme, which aims to stop people being drawn into terrorism.
The plan includes “faster alerts for suspicious purchases” as well as improved security “at crowded places across the UK”, he will say.
Giving his first keynote speech on security since he became home secretary, Mr Javid will warn there has been a “step-change” in the threat.
His speech comes a day after the one-year anniversary of the London Bridge attack.
There is growing concern over how quickly attackers are being radicalised and the increasing speed between the conception and execution of terror plots.
Under the new plans, firms will be able to quickly flag potential risks when they have evidence of unusual transactions.
This could be someone stockpiling large amounts of chemicals or acting suspiciously when hiring a vehicle.
Mr Javid will argue that IS and the extreme right-wing are “more similar than they might like to think”, adding: “They both exploit grievances, distort the truth, and undermine the values that hold us together.”
He will also defend the £40m-a-year Prevent programme, describing it as a “vital” part of anti-terror efforts.
The programme – aimed at all forms of extremism – has repeatedly come under fire, with critics saying it is heavy-handed.
While recognising criticisms of the scheme, he will say that “misapprehensions around Prevent are often based on distortions”.
The latest counter-terror strategy, Contest, will reaffirm the government’s commitment to Prevent.
Other measures will include:
:: MI5 intelligence to be shared more widely across other departments on some individuals of concern
:: Firming up plans to increase maximum sentences for some offences, such as repeatedly viewing terror content online
:: A new approach to managing extreme right-wing violence
:: Enhancing the use of data to track suspects by police and MI5, including the need for collaboration with the private sector on tackling material online
Security services expect the threat from Islamist terror to remain at its current heightened level for at least another two years.
A senior counter-terror officer has told Sky News there is still a “very significant security threat” to the country.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, the UK’s senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, said it is vital the public remains vigilant.
The risk from extreme right-wing terrorism is considered to be increasing.
Since March last year, 12 Islamist and four extreme right-wing attack plots have been foiled.
MI5 and police are running more than 500 live operations involving roughly 3,000 “subjects of interest” at any one time.
There are more than 20,000 people who have previously been investigated and who could again pose a threat.
From – SkyNews