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News - 24 April 2009

£5 million to protect our city centres

The Government has announced £5m extra funding to protect crowded places from terrorist attacks. The threat of terrorist attacks in crowded places has become a heightened priority for the Government and Security Minister Lord West plans to deliver improvement through a partnership approach.

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 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 that provide the basis for the Government's response to terrorism.

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