The Press Association
Mar 19, 2008
Members of the public will be able to join a new form of civil defence network to protect Britain against natural disasters and terrorism.
The organisations – likened to a new breed of “air raid precautions” or “ARP” wardens from the Second World War – will team up to build the country’s resilience in a catastrophe.
As part of a new National Security Strategy, Prime Minister Gordon Brown also revealed that the Government will publish for the first time a list of the risks faced by Britain, including possible numbers of fatalities in a range of disasters.
‘Dads’ Army’ to protect against security threats
By Christopher Hope
9:45pm GMT 19/03/2008
Gordon Brown wants tens of thousands of Britons to join a new Dads’ Army-style volunteer force to help the Government tackle threats to national security.
The Prime Minister also said ministers will also publish an annual risk register of the top threats facing Britain, from the Al Qaeda terror threat to floodingcyber crime.
The new force, called a new Civil Protection Network, will be based on the local Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
The Prime Minister said he wanted to see “improved resilience against emergencies” from floods to terrorist attacks.
This would take “not the old Cold War idea of civil defence but a new form of civil protection”.
People will be asked later this year if they want to join up to help defend Britain’s security and then be given training in how to deal with a number of threats.
Whitehall officials played down suggestions that the new force will be a new British Home Guard or ‘Dads’ Army’.
One official said it was more likely to be “a variation” of the ARP [air raid precaution wardens] who patrolled Britain’s streets during the Blitz.
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