Select Committee on Defence Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Home Office (10 May 2002)


  The Security Service issues assessments, known as VELLUM assessments to a wide range of contacts in the petro-chemical, chemical and related industries, banks and financial institutions, the telecommunications industry, and representative organisations in retail and commerce (such as The British Retail Consortium) on a quarterly basis with additional updates as required.

  2.  The assessments go to named contacts and provide a short summary (classified at most RESTRICTED) of current assessments of the terrorist threat together with a recommendation on the appropriate ALERT STATE. At each ALERT STATE pre-agreed protective security arrangements may be implemented by each recipient company. All police forces receive an information copy and may use it for briefing local business contacts. In addition, the Police National Terrorist Crime Prevention Unit, which is located in Thames House, uses VELLUM as a basis for briefing its own extensive range of commercial contacts and for briefing the Counter Terrorist Crime Prevention Officer in each of Great Britain's police forces.

  3.  The principal purpose of VELLUM is to advise potential targets of the appropriate protective measures that they should implement commensurate with the current threat assessments. There is a comparable but rather more detailed system applicable to Economic Key Points (EKPs).

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