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Police Counter-Terrorism Units

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

14. What assessment he has made of the performance of police regional counter-terrorism units against their objectives. (306228)

I receive regular assessments from Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary, which has concluded that the network of regional police counter-terrorism units and counter-terrorism intelligence units means that a well-located, operational platform now exists for targeting the top national priorities in terrorist investigations.

I am most grateful to the Minister, but there are only four counter-terrorism units up and running, and another four counter-terrorism intelligence units, which are minor organisations. What plans do the Government have to expand those minor units into fully fledged ones?

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will recognise that we have increased the number of police officers involved in counter-terrorism by 70 per cent. over the past four or five years. Only two weeks ago, I indicated that we would invest about £579 million in 2010-11 in developing the counter-terrorism network still further. We want to do that because of the serious threat, and we are committed to that £579 million for next year but must look beyond that in the comprehensive spending review. The key point is that this is a priority for Government.