Train passengers face routine airline-style bag checks and body searches as part of a new counter-terror crackdown announced by Gordon Brown. He conjured up visions of ''Fortress Britain" as he unveiled a succession of security measures at airports, railway stations, sports venues and other public places.
The Prime Minister said a review of vulnerable buildings and crowded spaces like shopping centres had led to a rethink of the way they are protected. More than 250 busy railway stations, airports and seaports as well as 100 "sensitive" installations like power stations and electricity substations will be given extra security. This could include screening luggage at major stations like London King's Cross or Manchester Piccadilly using mobile checking devices that can be moved around the country. More buildings will be defended by barriers to stop car bomb attacks, extra blast-proofing, vehicle exclusion zones and metal detectors.
New security guidance is being sent out to sports venues, pubs, clubs and bars, shopping centres and tourist attractions together with thousands of cinemas and theatres, restaurants and hotels. Advice will also be given to hospitals, schools and places of worship on how to keep visitors safe.
Some 160 counter-terrorism advisers will train civilian staff to identify suspect activity and ensure premises have adequate emergency facilities and make best use of their CCTV footage.
Mr Brown conceded there had to be a balance between excessive security and public protection against terrorism. ''We must ensure that the travelling public are able to go about their business in the normal way," he said.
David Cameron, the Tory leader, said Mr Brown's statement contained "a number of good ideas". He accepted tougher measures were needed because the terrorist threat was now of "a completely different order" to that faced in the past. But he added: "As a nation we also need the hard-nosed defence of our liberties." Vincent Cable, the acting Liberal democrat leader, said: "Our main concern remains the issue of pre-charge detention."
The Real Effect
Yikes. Can this be any more spelled out? For those of you that pay attention, remember years ago when all the CCTV was going in the UK? Then how the United States started adopting the same measures over time? Let's look at it again:
- Train passengers facing airline-style bag checks and body searches
- A succession of security measures at airports, railway stations, sports venues and other public places.
- New security guidance is being sent out to sports venues, pubs, clubs and bars, shopping centres and tourist attractions together with thousands of cinemas and theatres, restaurants and hotels. Advice will also be given to hospitals, schools and places of worship.
- 160 counter-terrorism advisers will train civilian staff.