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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 00:42 GMT
Police chief makes terror warning
Stephen House
Stephen House said it was "almost certain" a terror attack would occur
Scotland will face another terrorist attack within the next few years, according to the new chief of the country's largest police force.

Stephen House, 49, has taken over from Sir Willie Rae as chief constable of Strathclyde Police.

Mr House said another terror attack was inevitable in Scotland and this would be taken into account in his new role.

Mr House also commended the force's officers for the way they handled the Glasgow Airport attack.

The Glasgow-born officer is currently an assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police in London and has also served with other English forces.

Sir Willie is retiring after more than six years at the helm of the Strathclyde force.

I would be surprised if there were not further terrorist attacks in Scotland
Chief Constable Stephen House

Mr House, who officially takes over on Monday, will have control of an annual budget of about 550m as well as the force's 7,500 police officers and 3,000 civilian staff who serve the area's 2.3 million people.

He said: "It is almost certain that there will be a terror incident in the next few years. I would be surprised if there were not further terrorist attacks in Scotland.

"I, and my colleagues, were very impressed by the response up here to the Glasgow Airport incident.

"I know from my experience with the Metropolitan Police that the potential for a terrorist attack is considered very high at the 2012 Olympic Games.

"There is a risk that this would be looked on as less of an issue at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Glasgow airport
The attack on Glasgow Airport happened at the end of June

"However it has to be viewed as an inevitable threat."

The new chief constable was addressing the media on Sunday, ahead of his first day in the post.

He said he would make further efforts to combat violence in and around Glasgow.

Mr House said: "Strathclyde Police will work to ensure that in the here and now, we protect vulnerable people by protecting repeat victims - we target repeat offenders and we work with partners to target hotspot locations.

"We will also be targeting the gangs which blight local communities. Can I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to how this force dealt with the recent attacks on Glasgow Airport.

"I think events on and in the immediate aftermath of June 30th this year showed how professionally and sensitively this force dealt with such a large scale incident.

Operational roles

"Terrorism remains a threat to us all. As a force, we will continue to be vigilant on behalf of communities.

"I ask that communities continue to remain vigilant on behalf of one another against those who would divide us."

Mr House lived in Glasgow until the age of 12 when his family moved to London. He returned to Scotland to go to university in Aberdeen.

He joined Sussex Police in 1981 and has mainly served in uniform and operational roles with Sussex, Northamptonshire and West Yorkshire Police.

Mr House was appointed as an assistant commissioner by the Metropolitan Police in 2001.

Most recently he was assistant commissioner for specialist crime, with responsibility for areas including homicide, child abuse, the Flying Squad, undercover policing and gun crime.

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