Pursue is the strand of the counter-terrorism workstream that aims to stop terrorist attacks in the UK and against our interests overseas. This is our most immediate priority.
Detecting and investigating
Pursue is based on detecting and investigating threats at the earliest possible stage.
The police, security and intelligence agencies will seek opportunities to disrupt terrorist activities before they endanger the public. Our preferred approach to disruption will continue to be the prosecution and conviction of terrorists in open court.
Powers to protect
The government ensures that the police and security agencies have the powers they need to protect the public. But at the same time the Government will ensure that in countering the threats we face, we will preserve the fundamental values that terrorists seek to undermine.
The government has reviewed the most sensitive and controversial counter-terrorism and security powers in 2011. The recommendations of the review, including the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, changes to section 44 stop and search and pre-charge detention have already been implemented and ensure that we strike the right balance between protecting individual freedoms and national security.
Objectives of Pursue
In 2011-2015 we want to:
- continue to assess our counter-terrorism powers and ensure they are both effective and proportionate
- improve our ability to prosecute and deport people for terrorist-related offences
- increase our capabilities to detect, investigate and disrupt terrorist threats
- ensure that judicial proceedings in this country can better handle sensitive and secret material to serve the interests of both justice and
- work with other countries and multilateral organisations to enable us to better tackle the threats we face at their source
Justice and Security Bill
The Justice and Security Bill is currently before Parliament. It has three key objectives:
- to improve parliamentary and independent oversight of the Security and Intelligence Agencies by expanding the statutory remits of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) and Intelligence Service Commissioner;
- to make the Government and the intelligence services more accountable to the courts in civil proceedings by introducing Closed Material Procedures (CMPs) in a very limited number of cases. This means the courts will be able to hear the case – and see all of the evidence – regardless of how much information relating to national security is involved; and
- to protect our intelligence-sharing relationships by reforming the Norwich Pharmacal jurisdiction which allows someone fighting a case outside the UK to apply to a British court for access to intelligence or other sensitive information held by the British, and in some cases that supplied by our allies.
Further information on the Bill can be found on the Cabinet Office website: http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/justiceandsecurity/the-justice-and-security-bill
The Counter-terrorism strategy document in full