Terrorism fears raised over Bacton plant

A Norfolk MP has demanded answers over the future of anti-terrorism measures at Bacton gas terminal.The terminal, regarded as a key terrorist target, is currently protected by a combination of armed Ministry of Defence guards and a dedicated team of Norfolk police officers.

A Norfolk MP has demanded answers over the future of anti-terrorism measures at Bacton gas terminal.

The terminal, regarded as a key terrorist target, is currently protected by a combination of armed Ministry of Defence guards and a dedicated team of Norfolk police officers.

But the force has said it will not be able to continue to protect the from April since the government is withdrawing almost �1m in funding.

Now North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has written to business secretary Peter Mandelson asking if an agreement which sees gas companies funding the MoD presence could be extended to fund the continuation of the force's anti-terror role.


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Mr Lamb said: 'The government view now appears to be that the site can be adequately policed by the MoD armed police unit. However, my understanding is that the head of the MoD police along with the Norfolk constabulary do not share this view.

'They believe, it seems, that there needs to be a combination of armed MoD police together with support from dedicated officers within Norfolk constabulary.'

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His letter adds: 'There are very serious concerns that the site is not being adequately policed at present and given that the terrorist threat remains significant, this is something that I am sure you would agree gives rise to very real concern.'

The companies which operate from Bacton currently have a voluntary agreement to fund the MoD presence - although if this did not exist the government does have the power to order them to pay.

Police announced last month that they would not continue to provide dedicated policing to Bacton unless the government reinstates funding withdrawn last year. Since then the force has been funding the protection from Norfolk council tax income - something which it claims is unfair as the site is important nationally.

The force would continue to respond in the event of emergency.

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