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Established in April 2007, CTPNW exists as one of five Counter Terrorism Units (CTU’s) within a National Counter Terrorism Policing (NCTP) framework, designed to strengthen the UK’s response to the threat from terrorism. The threat we face, not just here in the NW but across the UK, is diverse and manifests itself in different forms, from International to Northern Ireland-related Terrorism and, increasingly, Domestic and Far Right Extremism.

In April 2018, the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) became Counter Terrorism Police North West (CTPNW), reflecting a formal collaboration between the five NW police forces. This followed a review undertaken in 2015 of how the Special Branch operate. As a result, changes have been actioned to streamline processes across the NW region to ensure they are consistent, maximise opportunities and deliver unified working.

The CTPNW manages and coordinates the operational counter terrorism response on behalf of the 5 North West forces: Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside; comprising of over 1000 officers and staff who are based across the region. It also offers CT assistance and guidance to the Isle of Man Constabulary. Operational governance is managed by ACC Russ Jackson and the Head of CTPNW is Detective Chief Superintendent Dominic Scally, who coordinates and delivers the four strands of Her Majesty’s Government’s CONTEST strategy (Prevent, Protect, Pursue and Prepare) in the North West in collaboration with local policing teams and other partner agencies.

The Head of CTPNW is assisted by 7 Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) who are responsible for leading one of each of the seven thematic strands covering Investigations, Operational Support, Intelligence, Borders Policing, Prevent, Protect & Prepare and Business Services.

Counter Terrorism Branch

The Counter Terrorism Branch tackles the terrorist threat within the County of Cumbria

Counter Terrorism Security Advisers

Provide protective and counter terrorism security advice to support businesses and the public sector.

Counter Terrorism Branch Ports Unit

Have a responsibility for providing effective Ports and Border Control within the Cumbria geographical area.

Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows us to stop, question, search and if necessary, detain people entering or leaving the UK.


The aim of Prevent is to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists, challenging the spread of terrorist ideology and protecting vulnerable individuals.