The head of UK counter terrorism policing has called upon everyone to play their part in defeating the combined challenges of terrorism and extremism during a key note speech at the Policy Exchange tonight, Monday, 26 February.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley highlighted how Islamist and right-wing extremists were both intent upon creating hatred, intolerance and division within UK communities.
He was delivering the seventh Colin Cramphorn Memorial lecture entitled “Extremism and Terrorism: The need for a whole society response” as he prepares to retire from policing after 31 years.
AC Rowley took on his current role as the national lead for counter terrorism policing a day before DAESH leader al-Baghdadi declared the so-called caliphate of the Islamic State.
The emergence of DAESH has shadowed his own time in counter terrorism, while the extreme right-wing in the UK has also become an increasing threat.
Speaking about his own reflections during his tenure, AC Rowley said the acute threat from terrorism could only be tackled when the whole of society responded to the chronic threat from extremism.
AC Rowley looked back at 2017 describing it as “an extraordinary and most challenging of years”, which saw five terror attacks – four Islamist and one extreme right wing. A total of 36 people died and hundreds more were injured in the attacks.
He paid tribute to colleagues in policing and the security services for their extraordinary efforts over the past four years in confronting the threat.
Since the attack in Westminster last March, 10 plots of an Islamist nature were stopped by police and security services. In addition AC Rowley revealed that police had thwarted four extreme right-wing plots in the UK since March last year.
He said: “It is important we make these figures public in order to illustrate the growth of right-wing terrorism. For the first time we have a home-grown proscribed white-supremacist neo- Nazi terror group, which seeks to plan attacks and build international networks.”
The full speech can be ready using this link: https://policyexchange.org.uk/pxevents/the-colin-cramphorn-memorial-lecture-by-mark-rowley/