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Mon, 19 October 2020

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Labour calls for judge-led review into 'lone-attacker' terror threat following Reading stabbings

Labour calls for judge-led review into 'lone-attacker' terror threat following Reading stabbings

Labour have called for the review following the Reading attacks

2 min read

Labour have urged ministers to establish an independent review into the threat posed by 'lone-attackers' following the Reading terror attack.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has offered to work with the Government in setting up an inquiry after three people were killed and several others injured in Reading, since classed as a terrorist incident.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said in the wake of the stabbings, alongside similar attacks at Fishmongers Hall and Streatham in the past nine months proved the threat posed by lone actors was "growing".    

In a letter to Ms Patel, Mr Thomas-Symonds said he wanted to "put aside party differences and work in the national interest" to establish a wider independent review into how frontline services could intervene sooner to stop potential perpatrators.

And the shadow minister said the probe should look at measures to improve support for the probation and prisons system, mental health services and housing providers to ensure they are able to work alongside police to '"dentify, monitor and in some cases treat" those at risk of carrying out attacks.

"The police and security services have responded incredibly bravely to these incidents and foiled many more, thanks to their skill and dedication," he said.

"However, they cannot fight this battle alone. When looking to identify, monitor and, in some cases, treat subjects who pose an enormous risk to society, we rely on a wide range of services, such as probation, the prison system, local authorities, mental health workers, housing providers and many more.

"That is why I have written to the Home Secretary to see if we can work together to set up a judge-led review, to undertake an independent assessment of the systemic response needed to address the highly dangerous and growing threat of lone attackers, with all necessary security safeguards in place."

Mr Thomas-Symonds said the new effort would build upon the 2017 Lord Anderson review, which proposed pilot studies into the use of "multi-agency centres" to allow for better data sharing between security services and frontline agencies.

"The heartbreaking fact is, for the third time in just seven months, we have witnessed eerily similar scenes on our streets," the Labour frontbencher added.

"Lone attackers, intent on causing carnage, have taken the lives of innocent people, injured more and caused enormous suffering to all those affected. 

"Now we must come together and redouble efforts to ensure each of these vital services have the resources they need and are working together in the most effective and impactful way, ultimately in a bid to save lives."

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