Brown unveils security strategy for Britain


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown unveiled the National Security Strategy, mapping out plans to deal with national emergencies such as terror, disease pandemics and flooding.

The strategy also proposes that the “national register of risks” be made available to the public, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Wednesday.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the prime minister said the number of security service staff would rise to 4,000 and that there would be new moves to secure Britain against cyber-attacks.

There would be a 1,000-strong civilian task force to be sent to trouble-spots around the world, which include police, emergency services and judges and would be put on standby to help failing states and countries emerging from conflict, said Brown, adding Britain would use diplomacy to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world.

Other changes include Ł15,000 ($30,000) commitment bonuses for long-serving military personnel and a Ł20 million ($40 million) fund to help armed forces purchase homes.

Four regional counter-terrorism units and four regional intelligence units would be set up to help the police.

Brown said threats to Britain had “changed out of all recognition” in recent years and that tactics had to alter accordingly.

“Our new approach to security also means improved local resilience against emergencies, building and strengthening local capacity to respond effectively in a range of circumstances from floods to possible terrorism incidents,” he said.

“Not the old Cold War idea of civil defense but a new form of civil protection that combines expert preparedness for potential emergencies with greater local engagement of individuals and families themselves.”

Brown also announced reforms of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), a parliamentary body which oversees the security services MI5 and MI6, and other areas.

He promised “greater transparency” and said the ISC's role would become more like House of Commons select committees, which hold their sessions mainly in public rather than in secret.

The National Security Strategy ranks climate change and extreme weather as being as a great risk to Britain as terrorism. (Xinhua)

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