By BBC Sport reporter Andrew JonesThe UK government has announced a new policy to allow people to buy new safety shoes to cover electrics.
The move comes after more than 100 people died in a terror attack at London Bridge in March, with police saying the attack was the “most severe and deadliest terrorist attack on British soil since the Second World War”.
The move is aimed at reducing the risk of electrics becoming a target.
The government said people could now buy safety shoes with “a fully functioning electronic control unit, allowing for greater safety than is currently available”.
Electrics are the only thing the UK government currently regulates on the public market.
In a blogpost, Home Office minister John Healey said: “We need to be sure that all of our citizens are wearing the appropriate protective equipment and using it with confidence.”
That means the purchase of the right safety footwear.”‘
A big leap forward’The move has been welcomed by the UK’s civil liberties group Liberty, which called it a “huge leap forward”.”
Electrics can be an incredibly useful and vital tool for keeping us safe, but the Government must not turn its back on the most basic security measures,” said James MacGregor, Liberty’s director of policy and communications.”
We need sensible legislation to protect all our civil liberties, including our right to wear our shoes.”‘
More than a decade of work’Mr Healey’s policy comes as part of the Government’s wider efforts to reduce terrorism and terror attacks.
Mr Healy has also announced that the UK will increase the number of officers in each area it oversees, with the police chief, the home secretary and the defence secretary being part of a team to work on tackling the issue.’
It’s the first step’The Government’s strategy is not without controversy.
Some of the new equipment has been criticised by some, including the BBC’s security correspondent James Landale.
He told the BBC that the new policies did not go far enough.”
It’s been years of work and this is a huge step forward,” he said.”
The Home Office have also been putting out a number of proposals over the last year that have been criticised for the way they’ve been implemented.”‘
Not acceptable’Mr MacGregory said the Home Office needed to “make sure they’re doing the right thing”.”
They need to have some clarity on what they’re trying to achieve,” he told the news channel.”
There’s a very serious question about the security situation in the UK, and it needs to be addressed as a result of this policy.”‘
They can’t just get rid of it’Mr Landale also criticised the move as “unacceptable”, saying it did not deal with “the whole threat landscape”.”
It will create an environment where criminals are emboldened to take action, because they can’t simply get rid.
They can’t do that,” he added.’
A huge step backwards’The UK’s first anti-terror police team will be formed to investigate the latest attack and ensure people are wearing protective equipment.
There are already 2,000 police officers in the country.
A separate anti-terrorist taskforce will also be formed in England and Wales, to be led by the Chief Constable of London.