Secret plans to deploy over 5,000 armed soldiers onto British Streets as a response to terrorism have been revealed.
Plans to deploy armed soldiers have emerged after secret documentation was accidentally posted on a NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council) website. The document shows the unprecedented planned response to terrorism that could result in up to 5,100 troops working with armed police in the case of an emergency. The plan codenamed Operation Temperer would see troops and armed officers guarding targets whilst intelligence searched for culprits.
The top secret plans that until today had not been discussed in parliament or revealed publicly are massively controversial, with many fearing the consequences of such divisive action, with Baroness Jones (London’s Police and Crime Committee) expressed her fears that troops would not be trained enough to maintain civil liberties, further saying that “this would be unprecedented on mainland Britain”.
With it also being revealed that the Paris massacres have led to high level police discussing raising the terrorist threat level in Britain from severe to critical. This would mean that the threat would no longer be deemed highly likely, and would instead be treated as inevitable.
The details (which were revealed in the minutes of a NPCC meeting that was held at a hotel in Leicester on April 22, and subsequently moved after being seen by The Mail on Sunday) had the header “COUNTER TERRORISM POST PARIS LARGE SCALE MILITARY SUPPORT TO THE POLICE”. The minutes talked of how troops would possibly deployed “based upon force assessments of how many military officers could augment armed police officers engaged in protective security duties” further adding “discussions were ongoing with Government… Chiefs recognised that the Army played an important part in national resilience and supported the work going forward”.
According to the Daily Mail sources have confirmed the detailed plan, but have also explained that action would only take place if triggered by the Cobra committee (chaired by the Prime Minister) if police were struggling to respond to multiple synchronised attack on Britain.
“The bottom line is you can’t reduce 17,000 police officers and expect nothing to change. While police are well-versed at contingency planning, the levels of cuts to officers means that we cannot police events in the same way” explained Will Riches (Vice chairman of the Police federation of England and Wales).
Military presence has always been a source of controversy in the past, with outcry in both 2003 (Tanks at Heathrow amid threat to shoot down a passenger jet) and 2012 ( Local were left terrified when surface-to-air missiles were placed in parks and on rooftops).
The Prime Minister has an upcoming Asian Tour in which he is expected to push for improved co-operation – in counter terrorism – between the UK and South East Asia states. Prior to leaving Cameron has called on countries to unite in the fight against ISIS “We will only defeat these brutal terrorists if we take action at home, overseas and online and if we unite with countries around the world, unite against this common enemy.
“Last Monday, I set out what more we need to do at home to tackle this extremist ideology and build a stronger, more cohesive society.
“This week, I’ll be talking to leaders in South East Asia about what they’re doing to keep their country safe from these Islamist extremists.
“All of us face a threat from foreign fighters and from increasing radicalisation within our countries and it’s right that we look at what help we can provide to one another.
“I think Britain can offer expertise on practical counter-terrorism work – dealing with the threat from foreign fighters and investigating potential terrorist plots.
“And I think Britain can learn from Indonesia and Malaysia on the work they have done to tackle the extremist ideology and to build tolerant and resilient societies.”
Becky A @Bex18W