Are David Cameron's new anti-terror measures necessary to protect the UK?

David Cameron has announced a series of new measures to tackle terrorism

Hannah Stuart, research fellow at The Henry Jackson Society, says Yes.

The government is calling for increased powers to tackle the threat posed by returning fighters from Syria and northern Iraq.

With a steady stream of people still leaving for Syria, and an estimated 250 already back on our streets, it’s clear that current preventative measures are inadequate.

The blowback from returning fighters is very real.

British citizens have fought or trained with jihadist groups abroad for almost three decades. Their impact is evident not only in terrorist attacks at home, including the 2005 London transport bombings, but also in the radicalisation of others on their return.

Islamic State (IS), the group wreaking terror in northern Iraq and Syria, is turning its attention to the West.

In a recent video, one British jihadist said the group’s fighters will go “wherever our sheikh wants to send us”.

The government is right to take robust measures to ensure that it is ready.

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, says No.

It is of the utmost importance that the government avoids any knee-jerk reactions with its new anti-terror measures.

There have been too many examples from the past where legislation created in such an environment has proven to be ineffective in tackling the threat posed, while curbing the freedoms of ordinary members of the public.

While not belittling the threat of terrorism, it is vital that the government resists the urge to introduce new measures simply in order to react.

Now is the time for it to demonstrate to the public that the lessons of the past have been learned, and that all future legislation can be proven to be necessary and proportionate.

The proposed additions to the system of Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures must be introduced both carefully and transparently.

There were many good reasons for getting rid of control orders, and we must resist effectively reintroducing the measures by proxy.

Related articles