Counter Terrorism Command

CCTV style image showing people walking around

The Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command, known within the Met as SO15, aims to protect London and the UK from the threat of terrorism.

The Command was formed in October 2006, with the merger of its two predecessor units; the Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13) and Special Branch (SO12).

It continues their legacy of expertise and brings together intelligence, operations and investigations functions. It also engages with a range of partners to prevent terrorist related activity, including the British Security Service and Secret Intelligence Service.

The Counter Terrorism Command operates against the threat of terrorism at a local, national, and international level and supports the national Counter Terrorism Network and the Senior National Co-ordinator Counter Terrorism.

In addition to this core counter-terrorism function the Command has a number of other national security functions. It has the national lead for domestic extremism, a role undertaken by the National Domestic Extremism Unit. It also deals with sensitive national security investigations, such as Official Secrets Act enquiries, the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and politically motivated murders.

The Command’s overriding priority is to keep the public safe and to disrupt terrorist related activity in the United Kingdom and against UK interests overseas by:

  • Detecting, investigating and preventing terrorist threats and networks.
  • Working with partner agencies to acquire and use intelligence and evidence about terrorism and extremism.
  • Ensuring that Counter Terrorism Command activity is focused, delivering value for money, productivity and an efficient and effective use of our resources.
  • Engaging, building and maintaining working relationships with boroughs, local communities, national and international partners to better understand their needs and to use their expertise and experience in jointly combating the terrorist threat.
  • Working with communities, partners, institutions, groups and other agencies providing advice and support to tackle the ideologies that drive terrorism and extremism.
  • Supporting, working and collaborating within the National Counter Terrorism Network to deliver UK counter-terrorism policing.