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New centre will bring London-based CT policing under one roof

New counter terrorism centre will be part of major project to base specialist units in one building.

New centre will bring London-based CT policing under one roof

Date - 25th November 2020
By - Gary Mason
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The new Counter Terrorism Operations Centre (CTOC) announced in the Chancellor’s Spending Review will be based at the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism and organised crime hub, which it started work on in 2018 and was set up with £412 million from the force and the London Mayor.

Rishi Sunak has now pledged tens of millions will be spent on the state-of-the-art facility to house CT senior officers and intelligence service staff under the same roof.

The 2018 investment included the £250m purchase of a site in London and a significant upgrade project to make the building and associated sites fully secure and fit for purpose. 

The idea then was to bring together the Met’s counter-terrorism command and specialist crime and operations under one roof,

The move was made to focus on a single site, and dispose of other buildings,

The London-based elements of CT policing will now be based in the new Counter Terrorism Operations Centre which will be housed on the same site.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, said the project was "complex" and "we have all been working on delivering for some time."

The development of the CTOC emerged in plans drawn up in the wake of MI5 and police reviews carried out after the terror attacks in London and Manchester in 2017.

A report from Lord Anderson, the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, found that the police and security services should improve their collaboration and share intelligence more widely.

The new centre will provide a facilty for intelligence agencies and senior CT police officers to work together to disrupt threats.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said:  “Following the dreadful attacks of 2017, I, along with the Director General of MI5, committed both our organisations to identify exactly where we could learn from those events and continually improve the way we work together to protect the public from the terrorist threat; the concept of bringing police closer together with our national security partners into a joint operations centre came directly out of this learning.

“Since 2017 we have worked closely with the Mayor of London, our intelligence agency and security partners and the government to turn the concept into reality."

The Met says 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 in a “purpose-built working environment.”

It said it would also install “smarter working practices and cultures, rationalising processes and structures, and boosting innovation with new forms of collaboration.”

The CTOC will be a new part of the overall UK CT response – bringing together, for the first time, all the London-based CT elements in one place.

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