Experts from academia and industry have been invited to provide groundbreaking new research to help combat the threat of international terrorism through science and technology, the Home Office announced today.
A vital factor in preventing a terrorist attack is identifying terrorists as they prepare for it, and the application of behavioural and social science is crucial to this.
This branch of science can explain why individuals and groups behave as they do, and anticipate certain behaviour. For example, advances in our understanding of the signs of suspicious behaviour are directly impacting on how we secure our national infrastructure through better training and guidance of security personnel.
The government has launched the Science and Technology Strategy as part of its counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST to set out objectives for using developments in these industries to protect the UK. Today, the second in a series of brochures under the scheme which aims to encourage participation and ideas from academia and industry has been published.
Today’s brochure is targeted at experts in social and behavioural science in particular, asking them to think about how they can play a role in helping the counter-terrorism community tackle the security challenges we face.
Security Minister Lord West said:
“We face a real and ongoing threat from international terrorism, and the UK must use its position as a world leader in science and technology to counter this.
“The UK has some of the finest experts in social and behavioural research and it is essential that we use this knowledge to protect the public from those who would wish to do us harm. As terrorists seek to exploit new technologies and tactics, we are adapting and strengthening our response.
“We are encouraging the world of social and behavioural science to share their ideas and expertise with us to do this. Academia and industry may be able to provide invaluable assistance and advice in helping to prevent terrorist attacks.”
1. The Counter-terrorism Science and Technology Strategy can be found at: http://security.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-terrorism-strategy/
2. The brochure can be found at the following link:
3. The Government’s Counter-terrorism strategy “CONTEST” can be found at: http://security.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-terrorism-strategy/
4. As part of the Government’s counter terrorism strategy (CONTEST) Security Minister Lord West yesterday received a demonstration at the University of Reading of new crowd modelling technology designed to help predict terrorist incidents through monitoring changes in crowd behaviour.
5. CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy has:
* deployed around 3,000 police officers dedicated to countering terrorism across England and Wales, with more in Scotland and Northern Ireland;
* developed a community-based response to violent extremism across the country, reaching over 40,000 individuals;
* trained tens of thousands of people throughout the UK, from security guards to shop managers, to deal with a terrorist attack;
* following charges made since 11 September 2001 a total of 230 persons have been convicted of terrorism related offences (to 30th September 2009)
* as of 30 September 2009, 132 persons were in prison for terrorist-related offences in Great Britain