- Head of National Counter Terrorism Policing warned of increased terror threat. Mark Rowley said 2017 had seen five successful attacks and seven foiled ones. That equates to a success rate of just under 42% for the terrorists. Previous years saw fewer total threats and a much lower rate of success.
LONDON – The recent increase in the pace and intensity of terrorism in Britain means that major plots are now running with a success rate in excess of 40%, according to statistics cited by the UK’s foremost counter-terror policeman.
Mark Rowley, the UK’s Head of National Counter Terrorism Policing, made clear the scale of the challenge presented by extremism in a stark briefing to police leaders in London on Tuesday.
He noted that since a new wave of terror incidents began in March with the attack on Westminster Bridge, the rate at which extremists are managing to pull off their plots has increased sharply.
Rowley, also an Assistant Commissioner of London’s Met Police, said officers had foiled seven attacks in that period, while five had got through (Westminster Bridge, London Bridge, Manchester, Finsbury Park, and Parsons Green).
A success rate of five in 12 is just under 42%. He noted the difference with the threat level in the previous three years, in which 13 attacks were plotted and foiled.
He told attendees at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council Partnership Summit: “In three years or so there have been 13 attacks foiled. We now, in a matter of a few months, have seen 12 potential attacks, five of which were successful and seven foiled.”
Rowley said he concurred with a recent assessment of the terror threat by the boss of MI5, who said the danger was now more acute than at any time in his 34-year career. He added that there is now “more threat, moving faster, and more difficult to detect.”
— NPCC (@PoliceChiefs) November 2, 2017
In order to respond to the increased threat, Rowley said police funding must go up, and requires “real-terms growth in resources in both local policing and counter-terrorism.”
The request – echoed by many at the conference – seems unlikely to be warmly received by the government, which has pushed back against demands for more funding ahead of new national budget next week.
It comes one day after Home Secretary Amber Rudd told police leaders at the same conference: “I don’t just want to see you reaching for a pen to write a press release asking for more money from the government.”