UpRising at Scotland Yard

On Saturday 27 March 2010, UpRising participants and programme organisers took part in day-long event run by the National Community Tension Team at the Metropolitan Police headquarters in the New Scotland Yard building. The NCTT is a team that represents the police service in some of the most controversial areas of policing, including counter-terrorism operations.

Eleven UpRisers and four organisers participated in ACT now!, an exercise run as part of the government’s Prevent programme. Through a sophisticated video simulation and role play, the UpRising team were put in the shoes of officers responding to a potential terror attack in a fictitious town. Working in teams, participants were asked to make difficult decisions that often weighed individuals’ civil liberties against the public’s need to be protected from a potentially life-threatening attack. Teams discussed methods for gathering intelligence, legal protections, public communication, and a host of issues related to crisis response.

Importantly, the event included a dialogue between UpRising participants and Metropolitan Police officers on the challenges and issues related to counter-terrorism and procedures such as stop and search. Officers responded to specific questions about the Manchester 12, (a group of students arrested and subsequently released without charge in April 2009), as well as their efforts to build trust in local communities.

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