By all accounts, Europe experienced something of a respite from the threat of terrorism in 2018 after the horrific incidents that have struck the continent in the last few years.

Nonetheless, while attacks have been thwarted, the ongoing uncertainties in Parliament mean that warnings remain noticeable across national press this month. Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu has claimed that the current ‘febrile’ atmosphere around Brexit could be exploited by far-right extremists while Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has warned that a no-deal exit from the European Union could threaten access to EU-wide criminal databases and put the public at risk.

At present, Brexit persists as juts as much of an anomaly as two years ago, but it would be unwise to dismiss such warnings as a plea for more funding and officers. The chaos caused at Gatwick and Heathrow after Christmas, as well as the bomb threat in Londonderry last month, highlight the vulnerabilities in our security systems and the UK forces and security services must now take every opportunity to mitigate against the terrorist and right-wing extremist threat in the UK.

Therefore, March’s Security & Counter Terror Expo could not be more timely. Read our preview on page 13.

We are looking forward to next month’s second Counter Terror Awards and await seeing those shortlisted at the event on 5 March.

Michael Lyons, editor

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