Councils and Customs given £105m to secure borders against threat

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Improved border security to prevent terrorists entering the country, including screening for radioactive material, are among the counter-terrorism measures being given extra funding.

Improved border security to prevent terrorists entering the country, including screening for radioactive material, are among the counter-terrorism measures being given extra funding.

Local authorities will also have additional resources for civil defence preparations, including decontamination equipment to deal with a chemical, biological or nuclear attack.

But about half of the £105m announced by Gordon Brown yesterday for counter-terrorism and security measures is "old" money, details of which were given in the 2004 spending review in July. With a continuing focus on the potential threat posed to Britain by international terrorist organisations, Mr Brown has allocated £25m to improve security at sea ports, airports and the Channel tunnel. The money will be used to beef up the Custom and Excise operation at the ports and Channel tunnel and provide electronic screening for radioactive material that a terrorist or criminal may try to smuggle into the country.

A spokesman for the Treasury said: "The money is to help harden borders against the terrorism threat."

The Chancellor has provided £30m to improve civil defences against a terrorist incident. This includes training firefighters in dealing with a biological, chemical or nuclear attack; equipment to decontaminate members of the public; water pumping equipment; and better radio communications. Mr Brown said: "The Government is more than doubling its contribution to councils' civil protection activities from 2005-06 to improve responses to emergencies including terrorism."

The £105m announced yesterday also includes £50m for the Home Office to carry out counter-terrorism measures. The money is for extra Special Branch police officers to work with MI5, which is recruiting an additional 1,000 people work on anti-terrorism. It will also go towards more protective suits for the police and the emergency services in case of a biological, chemical or nuclear attack.

However, £50m was announced in July by Mr Brown, and again in September by Mr Blunkett at the Labour Party conference as part of a £90m package of measures.

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