Britain looks to special forces to help police in terrorist attacks

AFP , Saturday 28 Feb 2015

Britain is preparing rapid-reaction squads of special forces to help police respond to terrorist attacks in parts of the country where there are limited numbers of armed officers, media reports said on Saturday.

A review by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Home Office will also establish where hundreds of regular soldiers should be located to assist police in the event of a crisis, according to the reports.

Defence Minister Michael Fallon was quoted in several newspapers as saying military emergency response teams had in the past been more focused on threats outside Britain but could now form part of plans at home.

"We are now looking at how we defend the UK and how we help the police do that," Fallon told reporters during a trip to Sierra Leone. "How they are deployed and whether there is a role for them (the military) in supporting the police."

The move comes after Islamist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen.

An MoD spokeswoman said: "We are working closely with other government departments and agencies to ensure that we are able to provide appropriate military assistance in response to any security threats." She declined to comment on the use of special forces or give any more detail regarding the plans.

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