UK Government targets bomb making materials in new crackdown

Recent trends indicate that Home Made Explosives (HMEs) are increasingly becoming a threat to public safety. Moreover, the use of inorganic substances to manufacture potent home-made explosive devices is on the rise due to the ease of access of some of these everyday inorganic substances.

In response to this alarming trend, the UK government has laid secondary legislation to further tighten controls around chemicals that can be used to make explosives. These changes are part of updates to the Poisons Act 1972.

The new measures will come into force on 1 October 2023, and include the addition of new chemicals to the lists of reportable and regulated substances in order to prevent access to materials which can be used to make illicit explosives; however, the measures maintain access for legitimate purposes.

UK Security minister Tom Tugendhat said: “Around the UK, businesses and individuals use various chemicals for a wide range of legitimate uses. However, we must also minimise the risk posed by the illicit use of bomb making materials and poisons.

“It is our responsibility to ensure our robust controls of these substances are updated and controls in place against those who wish to abuse them. These steps will do just that.”

The increased use of HMEs presents new challenges for global security firms and agencies: traditional explosive trace detection systems (e.g., IMS, etc.), while effective at detecting the organic compounds associated with classical threats such as military grade or commercial explosives, are ineffective against the inorganic compounds commonly used in HMEs.

To address this capability gap, GreyScan has developed the ETD-100, the only portable trace detector capable of detecting the inorganic explosive substances often used to manufacture HMEs.

GreyScan’s ETD-100 bridges an important capability gap, and a combined approach of traditional capabilities, along with the innovative GreyScan ETD-100 is an effective way of further reducing security threats, and should be an essential element of any security risk minimisation plan for any mass public event.

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