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UK’s Terrorism Laws Sufficient

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UK’s Terrorism Laws Sufficient

The UK does not ,  need any more counter-terrorism laws.

This is the view of UEL’s Andrew Silke who says that the UK already has some of the most intensive and extensive counter-terrorism legislation in Europe.

Speaking on Sky News about the recent terror attacks in France, Professor Silke, Head of Criminology and Director of Terrorism Studies at UEL, admitted it was worrying that authorities couldn’t prevent the terrorists from striking despite them being on various watch lists.

“To a degree, this is what happened in Woolwich too,” said Professor Silke. “I think the concerns are what are the criteria of those being monitored? Do they need to be re-examined and re-looked at?”

With new anti-terror legislation going ahead without new powers to intercept communication, Professor Silke didn’t see the need for further laws to counter the terrorism scourge.

“In the aftermath of any big terror attack, you always have calls for more powers and more resources,” he said. “There’s not a senior police officer that I know or a head of an intelligence agency who wouldn’t like more powers or resources if they could get them, but whether we need it is very questionable.”

UEL’s counter-terrorism expert pointed out that it was not possible to keep everyone of concern under 24-hour surveillance.

“It takes about twenty trained agents to keep one person under 24/7 surveillance so if you’re going to monitor only a couple of hundred people that is going to tie up thousands and thousands of agents and be incredibly expensive,” Professor Silke told Sky News.  “You have to be selective and normally it works well but recently it hasn’t and people seem to have fallen through the net.”

With the General Election on the horizon, the Professor indicated that none of the political parties was going to be seen as being soft on terrorism.

“We’re probably going to have some jostling as to which party is going to take the toughest line on terrorism,” he said. “I expect tough measures are going to be proposed, most of which we probably don’t need.”

Professor Silke is internationally recognised as a leading expert on terrorism in general and terrorist psychology in particular. He is the author of Prisons, Terrorism and Extremism: Critical Issues in Management, Radicalisation & Reform and also, more recently, Terrorism: All that Matters.

Notes to Editors

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.