Counter Terrorism Command
The Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) or SO15 is a Specialist Operations branch within London's Metropolitan Police Service. The Counter Terrorism Command was established as a result of the merging of the Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13), and the Special Branch (SO12) in October 2006, bringing together intelligence, operations and investigative functions to form a single command. CTC has over 1,500 Police Officers and staff, and a number of investigators based overseas. Commander Richard Walton is the head of the Counter Terrorism Command and reports to the Senior National Co-ordinator, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball.
According to the Counter Terrorism Command's website the Command’s overriding priority is to keep the public safe and to disrupt terrorist related activity in the United Kingdom and against UK interests overseas by:
- Detecting, investigating and preventing terrorist threats and networks.
- Working with partner agencies to acquire and use intelligence and evidence about terrorism and extremism.
- Ensuring that Counter Terrorism Command activity is focused, delivering value for money, productivity and an efficient and effective use of our resources.
- Engaging, building and maintaining working relationships with boroughs, local communities, national and international partners to better understand their needs and to use their expertise and experience in jointly combating the terrorist threat.
- Working with communities, partners, institutions, groups and other agencies providing advice and support to tackle the ideologies that drive terrorism and extremism.
- Supporting, working and collaborating within the National Counter Terrorism Network to deliver UK counter-terrorism policing.
The Counter Terrorism Command has a number of other national security functions. It has the national lead for domestic extremism, a role undertaken by the National Domestic Extremism Unit. It also deals with sensitive national security investigations, such as Official Secrets Act enquiries, the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and politically motivated murders.
The Counter Terrorism Command is part of the National Counter Terrorism Network which consists of 5 Counter Terrorism Units (CTUs) and smaller regional units. It is overseen by the counter-terrorism coordination committee, chaired by Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police Service. As part of its role in the National Counter Terrorism Network, SO15 operate against the threat of terrorism at a local, national, and international level and engages with a range of partners to prevent terrorist related activity, including the Security Service (MI5) and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
- Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre
- MI5 & MI6
- National Counter Terrorism Security Office
- National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit