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Terrorist threat demands more resilient new-builds, report warns

View from Walkie Talkie 20 Fenchurch St skyscraper City London skyline commercial offices
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The government should consider introducing a law to make new buildings more resilient to a major terrorist attack, a mayor-backed report has warned

The document, an independent review of London’s preparedness to respond to a major terrrorist incident, recommends the government introduces a statutory obligation for resilience to be designed into new buildings in the captial.

The 62-page report, which includes 127 recommendations to improve London’s resilience, was drawn up by the former chairman of the Metropolitan Police, Toby Harris who was commissioned by mayor Sadiq Khan in May.

According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, the report also recommends a phased programme of assessing the resilience of existing buildings.

Harris of Haringey wrote: ’However good the intelligence, we should always be prepared for the unexpected. It is often said that generals have a tendency to fight the last war, and most counter-terrorism planning reflects the attacks that have gone before.

’Certainly, with the speed of modern communications, it should be assumed that an attack technique developed several thousand miles away might speedily be used in this country.

‘But because a particular type of attack has not yet happened, that is not a sufficient reason for failing to consider its consequences and how to avert them.’

He added: ’This requires that we all acquire a mindset of community security and resilience, that London becomes a city where security and resilience is designed in and is part of the city’s fabric, and where everyone who lives and works here sees security and resilience as their responsibility just as much as it is for the emergency services and civic authorities.’

Report extract:

Recommendation 122. The Government should consider the case, with police, CPNI and others, for the introduction of a statutory obligation for resilience to be designed into new buildings.

Recommendation 123. A phased programme of assessing the resilience of existing buildings should be considered.

Terrorism and construction: How the risks are changing

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff head of security consulting Chris Driver-Williams tells CN that an increasing number of large developments need approval from a counter-terrorism security officer before receiving planning consent.

’It’s gone from advice and guidance to actually having input into the decision about whether to give planning consent,’ he said.

Read the full interview here.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Is this another way to 'stimulate' the economy?

    There is no way you can do any of this effectively; a complete waste of money.
    Any terrorist worth his salt, and unfortunately the international (the anti-west ones) are getting better trained these days, will pick and choose his targets for best prospects of success.

    Unless you have a standing army protecting utilities infrastructure, transport infrastructure, you are wasting your time.

    The public-focused targets of stadia, nightclubs, boulevards cannot all be protected.

    The price we all will pay for Empire-Building by our friends fomenting this terrorism, has already been set; lots of innocent people will be affected. The deal is that we try to live a normal life, and accept that our individual odds of survival are very high.

    I, for one, wouldn't want to see public buildings protected any more than public streets.

    We would be far more effective in a propaganda war about why people of different religions have to hate each other.

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