THE PRIME MINISTER has authorised raising the assessment of the level of threat the UK faces from terrorism to “critical” – the highest threat status.
This level of threat is usually implemented when security forces have specific intelligence that a terrorist operation is about to take place. However, on this occasion it seems it is not any specific information that has triggered the escalation but rather the fact that police and security officers have not yet been able to clarify whether the Manchester suicide bomber was acting alone or was part of a network.
The higher threat status allows the Government to take more emergency steps to ensure the safety of the public and it seems to be being used as a precautionary measure. Members of the armed forces can now be used to assist police in protecting the public. The deployment has been named “operation temperer”: an emergency plan was made some time go, and it is now being put into operation. The public can exect to see members of the armed forces in key public locations in the days or weeks ahead.
Responses to the announcement have varied, with some commentators believing that the Prime Minister had no choice but to up the terror status, while others fear that she is trying to use the current situation to look like a strong leader. The public will be hoping that the General Election will turn politicians’ minds to how to work for peace, rather than relying on fire power for protection.
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