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  1. Politics
26 November 2014updated 24 Jul 2021 1:17am

What are Theresa May’s new plans to combat terrorism?

The Home Secretary is to announce new measures to respond to the terror threat.

By Anoosh Chakelian

The Home Secretary Theresa May, who was busy over the weekend admitting the government’s net migration level target was “unlikely” to be met, and stating her preference for Abba’s Dancing Queen, will outline this week new government plans to combat terrorism. Her proposals will be part of the government’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

They include:

 – Banning UK-based insurance companies from covering the cost of terrorist ransoms, in the hope that firms will be deterred from paying ransoms to terrorists who take hostages. The UK government refuses to pay ransoms and is hoping to curb families’ opportunities to do so.

 – Permitting cancelling passports (for up to 30 days) of terror suspects at the border, in order to put people off going abroad to fight.

 – Controlling under what terms British citizens who are terror suspects return from overseas, by imposing temporary exclusion orders.

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 – Mandating public bodies such as colleges, schools and prisons to work to prevent terrorism.

 – Firming up aviation security, for example, asking airlines to provide data on passengers rapidly and efficiently.

 – Adjusting Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs) so that the authorities can force terror suspects to move to different parts of the country, and also raising the burden of proof for imposing TPIMs from “reasonable belief” to “balance of probabilities”.

 – Forcing companies to hand over details about who was using computers and mobile phones, and when, to the police.
 

These proposals arrive alongside a week-long public initiative that began this week to inform the public of how it can work to counter terrorism threats. According to the BBC, this action involves counter-terror authorities briefing more than 6,000 people at schools, universities, airports and publoc places like shopping centres and cinemas about what they can do to reduce the risk of a terror attack.

Counter-terror officers are also handing out information at railway stations. Students will learn about the “Prevent” strategy from police officers and even theatre groups, which is a strategy that helps guide young people against being drawn into terrorism.

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