Nonviolent crime poses a threat to foreign nationals in the UK and is concentrated in urban areas and at major tourist attractions. Thieves typically target luggage, wallets, purses, and smartphones on transportation, and at major transit hubs such as airports and rail stations. Foreign nationals are more likely to be targeted by criminals if they appear unfamiliar with the area or display obvious signs of wealth.
The past few years have seen an increase of thefts by gangs on mopeds, some of these robberies have resulted in violence using hammers and knives. Whilst many of the robberies are low-level snatch and grab incidents, a small number have been highly organized and targeted.
The UK has a significant number of active counter-terrorist operations underway with a small number classed as critical. The intelligence agencies are extremely over-stretched. There is an over-reliance on technical monitoring due to the shortage of assets, which increases vulnerability significantly.
The current focus of the Islamic Extremist community is on Knife based, rudimentary attacks focused on both tourist and Government locations, as well as Vehicle-Borne attacks that develop into a marauding armed attack. There are multiple specialist-armed teams present at key locations, but this is too reactive for executive protection. Due to London having a large Muslim population, terrorist cells or lone wolf style attackers can gain financial and operational support, as well as concealment from the populace and therefore remain unknown to intelligence services until the attack itself.
There is a low threat from dissident Northern Irish militant groups. Common tactics employed in such attacks include crude explosive devices, car bombs, and shootings.