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Terrorist Attacks

Volume 618: debated on Monday 5 December 2016

21. What steps she is taking to ensure that police and security services have the necessary powers to apprehend people planning terrorist attacks in the UK. (907636)

The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists, and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge. The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 ensures that law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies have the powers they need in the digital age to disrupt terrorist attacks, subject to strict safeguards and world-leading oversight. The Criminal Finances Bill will add to the ability of UK law enforcement to identify, investigate and disrupt terrorist finance activity.

Does my hon. Friend agree that the passing of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is important for ensuring that our security services and law enforcement agencies are able to combat those who wish to do us harm?

Yes, it is. It is also important to recognise that it is all very well the agencies having the capability, but they must also have the capacity. That is why, over the next five years, the Government are making an extra £2.5 billion available to the security agencies. We will use that to strengthen our counter-terrorism network abroad and at home.

23. Will my hon. Friend confirm how much the Government are investing to boost the United Kingdom’s capability to respond quickly to a firearms attack, particularly in the light of what has happened on the continent? (907638)

Overall counter-terrorism and police spending has been protected in real terms against the 2015-16 baseline over the spending review period. Following the recent European attacks, we revised our risk assessments and are delivering an uplift in our specialist response capability, which includes a £144 million programme over the next five years to uplift our armed policing so that we can respond more quickly and effectively to a firearms attack.

We are past 3.15, but that has never bothered me, and it would be unkind to the point of cruelty to exclude the hon. Member for Chippenham (Michelle Donelan), from whom the House will wish to hear.