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Retailers to be forced to report suspicious purchases to MI5

The new Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a policy that will see retailers forced to report suspicious sales such as large amounts of chemicals along with vehicle hire.

Javid said that he is aiming to remove “safe spaces” for potential terrorists, with the government to make firms report suspicious activity in rapid time. Retail staff are to be given a list of the details of 20,000 names suspected of being involved in extreme activity.

The Manchester Arena bomber was reported to have used Amazon to buy key components in making a bomb. The bomber reportedly used a fake name on the website however kept the same address meaning under the new plans the purchase would have been flagged.

Javid said when announcing the plans that the Manchester attack “might have been averted” had two pieces of “relevant information” been interpreted differently. He added that the new plans aimed “to improve the detectability and even the preventability of purchases of potential explosives precursors by would-be terrorists”.

Currently firms only have to report a purchase if it relates to regulated chemicals or poisons.

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