The British government has committed millions of pounds to bolster the protection of the public against terrorism, by announcing funding for a new National Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre (CTOC).
This center will bring together Counter Terrorism Policing, the U.K. Intelligence Community and other parts of the criminal justice system into one location. This new, fully-integrated approach will aim to keep the public safer from terrorism by enhancing the ability to discover and prevent attacks, improve response speed, and work more efficiently.
The development of the CTOC was born out of a series of terrorist attacks in 2017, which killed 36 and caused injury and life-changing impacts to many more people. The attacks and the subsequent operational improvement review highlighted the need to further develop the U.K.’s counterterrorism response to ensure it continues to adapt to an evolving threat.
This need has been underlined by attacks in the U.K., and across Europe; the 27 successful disruptions since the 2017 terrorist attacks; and the recent rise in the terrorism threat level to severe – all in the context of a broadening threat environment and an increasingly challenging technical environment.
Having a CTOC in London will enable co-location of the London-based elements of Counter Terrorism (CT) Policing, the intelligence agencies, and the criminal justice system, as well as other government agencies focused on tackling the threat from terrorism.
The new center will foster smarter working practices and cultures, rationalizing processes and structures, and boosting innovation with new forms of collaboration. The CTOC will be a new part of the overall UK counterterrorism response – bringing together, for the first time, all the London-based counterterrorism elements in one place.
Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said establishing the center has been a complex project which demonstrates there are no party politics in protecting the public.