Published: Thu, February 06, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Police chief defends Streatham attack surveillance operation

Police chief defends Streatham attack surveillance operation

"That is a very complex legal question, and as you know we are bringing forward legislation to stop the system of automatic early release", Johnson said.

The government is aiming to introduce its emergency terror legislation on 27 February - one day before a convicted terrorist is due for release.

He welcomed plans announced on Monday by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, who said the urgent legislation was needed to make sure offenders serve two thirds of their sentence before they are considered eligible for release, at which point their case would be considered by a panel of specialist judges and psychiatrists at the Parole Board.

There is also radicalised chemistry teacher Jamshed Javeed, who was jailed for six years in March 2015 for planning to travel from his Manchester home to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State (IS); and Mohammed Khilji, from north-west London who posted beheading videos on WhatsApp.

Those judged a risk will remain in jail for the rest of their sentence when they could face court-ordered restrictions, known as TPIMs, curbing their travel, overnight residence, communications and contacts.

A target of 27 February has been set to get the legislation through Parliament to prevent the early release of any more offenders, according to a Whitehall official.

Up to 20 officers would have been involved in watching Amman.

Lawmakers are anxious to speed the bill through in the wake of Sunday's stabbing incident in Streatham, London - where 20-year-old convicted terrorist, Sudesh Amman, stabbed two people just 10 days after he was released from prison.

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He welcomed government plans to "to keep the most risky terrorists locked up for longer".

Neil Basu, the head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism policing, said: "With 3,000 or so subjects of interest now on our radar and many convicted terrorists soon due to be released from prison, we simply can not watch all of them, all the time".

With the UK's terror threat level now set at "substantial", meaning an attack is likely, Mr Basu said the "threat is, despite our best efforts, not diminishing".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick defended her officers' response after paramedics were delayed from getting to the scene for their own safety.

"Sunday's attacker had his heart set on martyrdom before he was even convicted but there was earlier in his life, an opportunity to divert him from hatred and violence".

"Early intervention ... is absolutely key".

Amman, from Harrow, North West London, was put under 24-hour police surveillance on his release, and sources have said he was an "extremely concerning individual". One said: 'She was very courageous.

"An attack on any one of us is an attack of all of us and I have every confidence that the people of Streatham will stand in unity as we process this weekend's horrific events".

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