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'UK faces biggest threat since war'

London Evening Standard | August 9 2006

Britain is facing its most sustained period of serious threat since the end of the Second World War, Home Secretary John Reid is due to say in a high-profile speech on security.

In an address to the thinktank Demos, Mr Reid will warn that the security services and police alone cannot guarantee 100% success in combating terrorism.

Only a common effort from all sections of society can ensure the security of our communities, he will suggest.

The Home Secretary will say that the end of the Cold War has been accompanied by the "reach and impact" of organised crime and international terrorism.

He is expected to say: "We are probably in the most sustained period of severe threat since the end of World War II.

"While I am confident that the Security Services and Police will deliver 100% effort and 100% dedication, they cannot guarantee 100% success.

"Our security forces and the apparatus of the state provide a very necessary condition for defeating terrorism but can never be sufficient to do so on their own. Our common security will only be assured by a common effort from all sections of society."

As reported earlier this week, Mr Reid will also say that mass migration in a globalised world is the "greatest challenge facing European governments".

While the mass movement of people provides the potential for greater wealth and opportunity, it also brings insecurity into the heart of communities, he will say.

The Home Secretary will say that the Cold War "froze" the world into a static state in which migration was minimal, ethnic and religious tensions suppressed and national borders inviolable. Twenty years after its end, Britons were now faced with a world in which insecurity has become "one of the highest concerns of daily living".

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