Britain taps anti-terror 'workers' army'

March 24, 2009 at 10:42 AM
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LONDON, March 24 (UPI) -- Britain's new anti-terrorism strategy calls on shopping center managers to become part of a "workers' army" of trained spotters, officials say.

The strategy, unveiled Tuesday by British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, admits that police, security and intelligence agencies can't be solely relied upon to spot terror threats and will focus on enlisting retailers and 60,000 other citizens to identify trouble, The Times of London reported.

"I don't think tackling terrorism is something we can solely depend on the police and our security and intelligence agencies to do -- brilliant though they are," Smith told the BBC. "I think we need to enlist the widest range of people to do that … We can't tackle terrorism simply from Whitehall."

The Times said Smith identified "shopping center managers, store managers, people who were responsible for the security in those areas" as central to the new strategy, called Contest 2.

"We've been successful in countering terror," Smith told the BBC. "We've foiled more than a dozen plots. For example, we've brought more than 200 people to justice before our courts."

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