New technologies in the fight against terrorism

As the threat of global terrorism continues to grow, the UK will become more reliant on new research and technology to help combat terrorism more effectively. A special briefing being held at the Institute of Physics today (10th October 2005) will look at how the Home Office is using physics-based technologies to increase security in the UK, and what this threat means for the future of R&D in the UK.

Security and counter-terrorism technology

Alan Pratt, Director of the Home Office Scientific Development Branch will examine the science and technology underpinning the UK's efforts at combating crime and terrorism.

"Homeland Security" covers a huge range of activities co-ordinated across government. Alan Pratt will reveal how the UK is increasing security, ranging from protective physical security to explosives detection and border control; and how the Home Office works in partnership with other government departments, academia and particularly industry to meet operational needs.

Global terrorism and its effects on R&D

Sir John Chisholm, the Executive Chairman of QinetiQ, will say that the capability of a nation to combat terrorism depends critically on the continual research, development and deployment of new technologies to protect its citizens.

Sir John will look at the ways in which the UK currently protects against serious dangers and say that the UK needs to change the nature of homeland security in order to keep pace with the changing nature of these threats recent trends include an increase in suicide bombs and cyber crime. According to Sir John, the UK's ability to prevent terrorist actions depends upon technology; using it to detect patterns and spot anomalies in sufficient time to allow intervention.

He will also discuss what security measures the UK will need in the future such as biometrics for identity authentication, screening for explosives and weaponry, geospatial tracking, and

Contact: David Reid
Institute of Physics

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