Counter Terror Expo - Countering Tomorrow’s Threats, Today

The main theme of CTX this year is “Comprehension, Identification, Intervention & Reaction - Key elements to protecting our way of life from terrorism & extremism.” In a change to the format of previous years, the content programme this year will be driven by a series of panel discussions, conversations around the key areas affecting our national security – in the physical, online and emotional spaces – led by senior leaders from Policing (including CTP, BTP and MPS), government, regulatory bodies, P/CVE specialists, academics, victims of terrorist attacks, leading campaigners and charitable organisations, all working towards a common cause.

Our expert panellists will share their knowledge and experiences of understanding what the root causes of terrorism and extremism are – what causes people to go down that dark, treacherous path? How do we identify the signs of radicalisation and extremism, what are the tools and platforms being used to corrupt the young, the vulnerable and those suffering from mental illnesses? How do we stop this – through preventative education, compassion, reasonable regulation, and legislation? Or by imposing an Orwellian state of surveillance, oppressive legislation, restrictive regulation and closed borders? Whose responsibility is this? Who is accountable for all of this? How do we react as individuals, organisations, communities, and society at large – and is there more that we can do to be better prepared, more organised and have greater resilience to any future events?

We have (on 2nd March) had the third volume of the Manchester Arena Inquiry by Sir John Saunders, into the tragic events of 22nd May 2017, when a ‘home-radicalised’ terrorist detonated an IED at the Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 innocents, mostly children, injuring hundreds and permanently traumatising the family, friends, and communities of the victims.

Sir John’s reports did not pull any punches. Indeed, he has pointed the finger directly at the communication, organisation and effectiveness of, and between, the emergency services involved on that fateful night, as well as the venue owners’ security staff and training (or lack thereof) and ultimately at the security services, who failed to recognise their own red flags.

The news that Martyn’s Law will be put before Parliament as a draft bill this Spring, can only be welcomed with open arms – and a great deal of gratitude to Figen Murray, Nick Aldworth and others, who have campaigned relentlessly for the best part of the last 6 years to get legislation enacted that ensures the training of staff, protection of venues and other Publicly Accessible Locations (PALs) is counter-terrorism compliant – and that there is accountability.

6 years. Say that out loud, so you can get a better perspective of it. 6 years, and we have only just reached this stage.

The Independent Review of Prevent (published on 8th February) – the government’s programme to prevent Islamist radicalisation and right-wing extremism – led by William Shawcross CVO, has caused much debate, some controversy and created plenty of headlines. It has been, unconventionally, fully endorsed in its entirety by the Home Office. We will be looking at this very closely in the opening panel discussion of the first day.

On 7th March, Jonathan Hall KC’s fourth annual report on the operation of the UK’s counter-terrorism legislation was published. It closely examined the extent that the UK’s counter-terrorism legislation measures up to the challenges posed by terrorist activity online. This, alongside the regulatory issues of the incoming Online Safety Bill, will be discussed in the second panel discussion of the opening day. There will be plenty to debate and discussions to be involved in.

The programme over the two days of CTX will look like this:

Day One: Understanding terrorism and extremism. How to prevent, prepare & respond.

A series of four panel discussions looking at the topics of:

  • Radicalisation & Extremism: A new direction, following the Prevent review?
  • Tackling terrorist exploitation of the internet: The need for Counter Measures and the effectiveness of regulation.
  • Leadership during Critical times: Learning from the past, preparing for the future.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: How collaboration builds resilience and develops response-driven innovation.


Day Two: Prepare, Respond, Recover. How building the cycle of resilience can save lives.

A series of three panel discussions looking at the key areas of:

  • Prepare: How a well-informed and properly trained public can be effective 'zero responders'.
  • Respond: Public and Organisational response in the event of a terrorist attack.
  • Recover and reset: Building resilience and applying knowledge from lessons learnt.


In addition to these stimulating discussions, there will also be live demonstrations by the armed response teams of British Transport Police, covering simulated scenarios of: Suspicious bag clearance; Control and disarming of an individual armed threat, and an exclusive demonstration from the BTP SRU. These will run on the main exhibition floor, in the BTP area – timings are available on the CTX website.

The key partnership for CTX this year is with TINYg – the Global Terrorism Information Network – who are a not-for-profit, knowledge sharing organisation, whose Single Unifying Purpose is ‘To maintain an up-to-date understanding of global terrorism by bringing together subject matter experts, in a trusted environment, in order to increase our members awareness of threat and allow them to develop their capability to prepare and respond’. You’ll be able to hear from TINYg members in the conference programme and engage with them at their stand on main exhibition floor.

To reinforce the messages that we are covering at CTX this year, we have chosen to support two charities that are the embodiment of our Prepare, Respond, Recover themes. CitizenAID – The Charity Empowering the Public to Save Lives, and the National Emergencies Trust – the Nationwide Disaster Charity. Please engage with them at their stands on the main exhibition floor to see how you and your organisation can support their vital work.

CTX is co-located, and closely aligned, with FEE – Forensics Europe Expo. The main theme and programme for FEE this year compliments the CTX content, and will address these themes:

Modernising Forensic Investigations. The conference will be split into two main streams:

  • Beyond the Forensic Laboratory.
  • Digital Forensics.

Day One - Data and Evidence Collection

Exploring the concepts and technologies driving enhanced data collection.

  • Digital forensics and the extraction of evidence.
  • Overcoming existing limitations within the physical forensics space.
  • Emerging technologies pushing the existing boundaries of collection.

Day Two - Data and Evidence Analysis

Examining the processes and technologies behind analysing collected information.

  • Accreditation and standards for best practice.
  • Information sharing and a collaborative approach to investigations.
  • Managing information overload and clutter.

Come and join us at CTX & FEE this year to learn, engage and form the future of preventative, resilient national security and reactive forensic innovation.

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 Entrance to both CTX and FEE is free, subject to meeting our registration criteria, physical security scanning clearance on the day and production of photo ID on entrance.

We look forward to welcoming you to CTX & FEE in May.

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