Protecting the safety of the UK and our interests overseas is the primary duty of Government. Terrorism remains the greatest threat to the security of the United Kingdom.
I have today published the annual report for the Government’s strategy for countering terrorism, Contest (Cm 8583). It covers the progress made towards implementing the strategy that we published in July 2011. Copies of the report will be made available in the Vote Office.
The threat from terrorism is changing but remains substantial. The terrorist threats we face are now more diverse than before, dispersed across a wider geographical area, and often in countries without effective governance. Collaboration with international partners remains vital. There have been no attacks on the scale of 7/7 in Great Britain over the period covered by the report. But since December 2010, there have been at least five serious terrorist plots in this country and a very significant number of terrorism-related arrests and prosecutions.
Our counter-terrorism response continues to reflect our commitment to protect the people of this country and our interests overseas in a way that is consistent with core British values. We recognise that our response must continue to be based on partnerships at all levels—local, national and international. Communities, local authorities, Government Departments, agencies, devolved Administrations, our security industry and overseas partners all play vital roles in the successful delivery of Contest.
Staying ahead of the threat requires a dynamic and responsive counter-terrorism strategy. I am convinced that Contest will continue to provide a sound basis for our work and that we will build on our success.