Priti Patel gives counter terrorism forces ‘unequivocal backing’

Monday, June 22, 2020

Priti Patel has reiterated the government’s pledge to get tougher on sentencing following the suspected terror attack in Reading on Saturday.

The Home Secretary said that the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill, due to be debated in Parliament this week, will introduce “much tougher penalties for terrorists to keep the public safe”.

She added that Boris Johnson’s administration will take further measures if needed.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, Ms Patel said: “We continue to pursue every option available to tackle the terrorist threat and to take dangerous people off our streets.

“Our world-class CT, police and security services have my unequivocal backing as they hunt down hate-fuelled terrorists and extremists.

“My message today is clear, simple and strong: swift justice will be done, victims will be supported and if further action is needed to stop terrorists in their tracks, this government will not hesitate to act.”

Three people were killed and three others injured during a knife attack in a Reading park on June 20.

The suspect, a 25-year-old Libyan refugee, was arrested on suspicion of murder shortly afterwards but was later re-arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

He was reportedly already known to MI5 but was found to pose an insubstantial risk.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds warned: “Legislation alone is not enough.

“We need a comprehensive look at de-radicalisation in our prisons, how people who pose a threat are risk-assessed and how different agencies can work together to safeguard against tragedies in the future.”

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