London police head warns of terrorism

Sir Paul Stephenson, the head of London's Metropolitan Police, recently made a major speech on terrorism that warned of the real possibility of an attack in the United Kingdom as the roll back of strict counter-terrorism laws is being considered.

While Stephenson did not seek to overstate the risk, he said that society has, “unrealistic expectations of security…that can never be satisfied,” The Telegraph reports.

The commissioner made the speech at the Royal United Services Institute in central London, comparing the current level of danger with the failed car bomb attacks that occurred at the Tiger-Tiger nightclub in London and on the Glasgow airport in 2007.

Stephenson said that high expectations were a sign of confidence in the police, but that, “there may also be an element of a simple inability to accept the real potential for such devastating, murderous attacks, despite the history of 7/7, in a society still for the most part relatively untouched by such events,” according to the Telegraph.

One of the counter-terrorism laws that is up for debate is allowing 28 days of detention before charge and control orders.

“Our role is to inform the debate with our professional opinion,” Stephenson said, according to the Telegraph. “It is for elected politicians to take account of that opinion when deciding upon what legislation should be made available to us. This is a heavy responsibility, and it is theirs to discharge wisely.”