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New £412 million Capital counter terror hub
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Metropolitan Police Service have announced a £412 million investment to create a new counter terrorism and organised crime hub in the capital.
Including the £250 million purchase of the Empress State Building in Hammersmith and Fulham, and a significant upgrade project to make the building and associated sites fully secure and fit for purpose, the agreement will bring together the Met’s counter-terrorism command and specialist crime and operations under one roof, in line with other cities like Manchester and Birmingham.
London’s new counter-terrorism hub will streamline operations and capabilities, and ensure more effective and efficient working to keep the capital as safe as possible from the constant and evolving threat of terrorism.
The plans have been supported by Lord Toby Harris, who was commissioned to review London’s preparedness to respond to a terrorist attack in 2016. He said that the combined hub ‘represents value for money and will make a major contribution to keeping Londoners safe’.
Khan said: “Last year, our city was subjected to four terrorist attacks at Westminster Bridge, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green. We know that countless more have been thwarted by our hardworking and dedicated counter terrorism officers, whose heroism in these times of adversity we must never take for granted. At a time when policing budgets continue to be cut by Government, it is right that we prioritise investment in those areas that matter most.
“The fact is, terrorism and serious organised crime continues to pose a real and ever present threat in our city, and it is imperative that we give our police officers the tools they need to help keep us safe. This new counter-terror and organised crime hub for the capital will ensure that London is brought into line with rest of country whilst being best value for money. It will bring our expertise and capabilities together in one place, so they can work more efficiently and effectively to ensure our city is as protected as possible.”
Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, added: “Last year’s attacks were absolutely appalling. As we continue to try to do everything we can to prevent such events we must take every opportunity to develop our services in a cost effective manner. The new hub will allow us to continue to improve our abilities to confront the significant and ever changing terrorist threat as well as to deal even more effectively with organised crime, cyber crime and other serious crimes. This development will undoubtedly support our hard pressed officers and staff and will ultimately help make London safer.”