Monday, November 3, 2008

Will OU become a target?

Go to work in a flak jacket? The militarisation of the OU

Armed patrols for St Athan?

Is this new police force with "armed patrols" is to be deployed in the Vale at Aberthaw Power Station - you'll remember the protests that stopped work there just months ago? And would St Athan camp could be covered by the same force, if the Metrix scheme comes to make it into a likely terrorist target?
Is the Civil Nuclear constabulary to be expanded
into a critical national infrastructure police force?

Anti-terror patrols secretly stepped up at power stations Daily Mail 11th August

Massive expansion of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary is being secretly planned to protect Britain’s most vulnerable terrorist targets.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that it will be transformed into the Critical National Infrastructure Police and mount armed patrols around all key installations nationwide, including power stations, phone and computer networks, oil and gas pipelines, ports and airports.

Secret negotiations also include taking over responsibility for protecting Government buildings and key economic targets.

Drax in Yorkshire may be one of the power stations guarded by the force

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary is already responsible for guarding all nuclear power stations and other nuclear installations.

The 800-strong force also protects nuclear material when it is moved around the country and investigates any attempt to steal or smuggle atomic material. Its officers are routinely armed and it has 17 regional headquarters, mainly at nuclear plants around the UK.

Richard Thompson, a former Foreign Office counter-terrorism expert who has served in Iraq, took over the force in June last year and has been carrying out strategic reviews to prepare for its expanded role.

The intention is that the force, which has a ?50million-a-year budget, will have more officers and take over policing other power stations, critical telecom buildings, gas installations, fuel dumps, airports and other key terror targets.

Richard Thompson's force will guard power stations across the UK

It is also expected to take over protecting Britain’s main sea ports, some of which have their own tiny forces, such as Dover Port Police which has 50 officers.

The Critical National Infrastructure force is expected to be announced as part of Security Minister Lord West’s review of Britain’s preparedness for terrorism.

He has been focusing on security around chemical, biological and nuclear material, which terror groups such as Al Qaeda are trying to obtain to use in attacks. Last night, Lord West acknowledged that expansion of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary’s role was ‘one of a number of options available’.

Britain already has an intelligence agency, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, which is overseen by MI5, looking at terror threats to key installations and businesses.

In his first annual report, released last month, Mr Thompson said: ‘The role of the constabulary is shaped by the persistent and uncompromising challenge of the terrorist threat.’

He added that the force was doing more ‘to integrate ourselves further into the national counter-terrorist architecture’.

Spy Blog - Watching Them, Watching Us
Is this Critical National Infrastructure thing is only the fig leaf. They have found a compliant Chief Officer who will do his bit to form a national Gendarmerie, so that the UK can then join the European Gendarmerie Force.

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 23 Feb 2007 (pt 0008) Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the European Gendarmerie Force was established; for what reason the UK

And then they can have their new toys like the "anti-aircraft missiles and heavy machine guns, armoured fighting vehicles, attack helicopters etc" that you question earlier. And my betting is that they will "discover" that they do not need to pass primary legislation to do it, possibly not even a statutory instrument. As you say, this will be the Dept of BERR's own police force. Not to be outdone, I would also guess that the Home Office will attempt a major broadening of their direct national force - the borders police or whatever they are called these days.

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