Transport attack 'most likely threat to UK'

Britain is more likely to face another attack on the transport network than any other kind of threat, the Government revealed today.

Previously secret information ranked a terror attack on transport as the most likely risk faced by the country, raising the spectre of another 7/7.

The second most likely form of threat is an electronic attack on IT and communications systems, and the third most likely is a terror strike on a crowded place.

The complex analysis in the Cabinet Office's National Risk Register looked at a wide range of threats to the country, including natural disasters and industrial accidents.

Different threats are ranked on a specially-devised graph according to "relative likelihood" and "relative impact".

The document said: "Of the different malicious attacks outlined in this document, conventional attacks on transport systems are judged to be some of the more likely to occur.

"This assessment is supported by the many examples of this type of attack perpetrated by different groups across the globe."

Railways, including underground train systems in UK cities, are "more vulnerable to attack" than airlines because of different security levels, it said.

As announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in March, the document said a flu pandemic was the biggest threat facing the country.

Such an incident would be the most damaging, claiming up to 750,000 lives.

But it is only the fifth most likely type of risk, according to the new information, and is ranked as slightly less likely than a severe weather attack.

Coastal flooding was given as the second most damaging type of threat.

The document also provided advice to families and organisations on what they can do to protect themselves.

It built on information contained in the Preparing For Emergencies booklet which was delivered to every household in the country in 2004.

Today's new information ranked a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack by terrorists as about as likely as a major incident of inland flooding.

"The use of some CBRN materials has the potential to have very serious and widespread consequences," it said.

"An example would be the use if a nuclear device.

"There is no historical precedent for this type of terrorist attack."





The document said the Government has stockpiled enough doses of the antiviral drug oseltamivir, known as Tamiflu, to treat a quarter of the population.

"This should be sufficient to treat all those who fall ill in a pandemic of similar proportions to those that occurred in the 20th century," it said.

"The Government is collaborating actively with international partners on prevention, detection and research, and is taking every practical step to ensure that the UK is prepared to limit the internal spread of a pandemic and to minimise health, economic and social harm as far as possible."



Security Minister Lord West of Spithead rejected suggestions that publication of the register would simply cause unnecessary alarm.

"I have great faith in the public and they would prefer to have information because the thing that causes fear is ignorance of things," he told BBC Radio 4's The World at One.

"A thing like the flu pandemic, it's very difficult to gauge exactly what the scale of it will be.

"We have done a great deal of work on it and I hope when people read this they will be reassured by the amount of work that we have done within government."



Shadow security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones said: "We welcome the publication of this register.

"We have been urging the Government to be more open about the risks the UK faces for some time.

"However the real value of it will depend on how good the information supporting it is and if the Government actually deals with the threats it highlights.

"For example, while the resilience of supply chains is crucial we compare extremely poorly with comparable advanced economies when it comes to stockpiling oil and gas resources to sustain us through an emergency.

"On cyber-crime, a Lords Select Committee has condemned the Government's 'head in the sand' approach."

She added: "In the next few months we will publish a national security Green Paper.

"This Green Paper will set out an effective national security strategy dealing, among other things, with the resilience of the UK to withstand emergencies."

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?