Labour calls for judge-led review into ‘lone attacker’ strategy

Nick Thomas-Symonds, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, has asked for an opportunity to work with the government in developing an independent, judge-led review in to the systemic response needed to address the highly dangerous and growing threat of lone attackers.

Following the attacks in Reading, Labour committed to put aside party differences and work in the national interest. In that spirit, the Shadow Home Secretary has outlined proposals in a letter to the Home Secretary to establish a review looking at the range of services – such as probation, the prison system, mental health services, local authorities and housing providers – that can help intervene at critical points. He praised the work of police and security services, but stressed that they need support.

The aim of the work would be to build on previous reports, such as the extensive work done by Lord Anderson, which provided vital information on service improvements in this vital area.

Nick Thomas-Symonds said:

“The police and security services have responded incredibly bravely to these incidents and foiled many more, thanks to their skill and dedication. However, they cannot fight this battle alone. When looking to identify, monitor and, in some cases, treat subjects who pose an enormous risk to society, we rely on a wide range of services, such as probation, the prison system, local authorities, mental health workers, housing providers and many more.

“That is why I have written to the Home Secretary to see if we can work together to set up a judge-led review, to undertake an independent assessment of the systemic response needed to address the highly dangerous and growing threat of lone attackers, with all necessary security safeguards in place.

“The heartbreaking fact is, for the third time in just seven months, we have witnessed eerily similar scenes on our streets. Lone attackers, intent on causing carnage, have taken the lives of innocent people, injured more and caused enormous suffering to all those affected. Now we must come together and redouble efforts to ensure each of these vital services have the resources they need and are working together in the most effective and impactful way, ultimately in a bid to save lives.”

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