The United Kingdom Terror Alert Level Raised To Severe

What Has Happened?

On the 3rd of November 2020, the UK has upgraded its alert level to ‘severe’ following the aftermath of terror attacks in Vienna and France. This decision was reached by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) and means that an attack is ‘highly likely’ as opposed to the previous status of ‘likely’.

Following the rise in the alert level, Home Secretary Priti Patel says that the people of Britain should be ‘alert but not alarmed’. 

JTAC is a centre that strands from MI5 and sets the threat level for the UK from international terrorism. While this alert level in question has been raised based off the recent events in Europe, these incidents have no direct link to the UK and it is stated to be a cautionary measure for the safety of the UK. 

What Does This Terror Alert Level Mean?

The head of the UK counter-terrorism stated that the public should expect to see an increase in police officers in certain areas as an appropriate response. The security of the UK will ultimately be tighter, with large public locations being the target of this tighter security. 

While only a precaution, this alert level has serious implications on the cybersecurity industry. CCTV management systems will be on a higher alert and told to remain vigilant, especially in the few days running up to the UK’s national lockdown where it is expected that there will be more people on the streets and in public areas that usual.

During the Home Secretary’s statement, Patel said “We have already taken significant steps to amend our powers and strengthen the tools for dealing with the developing terrorist threats we face,”

JTAC has five ‘threat levels’ which have been designed to give a ‘broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack.’: (JTAC 2020)

  • LOW: an attack is highly unlikely
  • MODERATE: an attack is possible, but not likely
  • SUBSTANTIAL: an attack is likely
  • SEVERE: an attack is highly likely
  • CRITICAL: an attack is highly likely in the near future
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