Mark Gardner, Director of Communications, CST (Community Security Trust)  

Mark Gardner, Director of Communications at Community Security Trust (CST)

Mark Gardner, Director of Communications at Community Security Trust (CST)

Seeing the wave of fear across Europe after the carnage in Paris, I’m reminded of numerous conversations with politicians and journalists over the years here at CST, in which our visitors reacted with shock and upset at the need for British Jews to have anti-terror security. I always took their reactions as a healthy reminder, to me and my colleagues, that we must never allow ourselves to somehow regard the security threat as a normal situation.

Now, after what happened in Paris, I doubt that quite so many of our non-Jewish visitors will be expressing quite so much surprise.

What, until now, has looked like exceptional security in Jewish communities may begin to look a lot more like what others request and expect elsewhere in society.

No matter how many plots and plotters the security services say they have stopped, it is only the appalling reality of what happens when the terrorists succeed that causes the general public to demand security measures.

For now, CST and our communal partners will continue to do everything in our power to work against the threat. Ultimately, however, our effort really depends upon each and every member of our community. The reaction to the attacks earlier this year against Jews in Paris and Copenhagen was encouraging, with hundreds upon hundreds of people stepping forward to be fully trained as CST volunteers.

CST relies on our community for its staff, volunteers and funding. We can only be as strong as you make us. We hope that in return, we help to make you strong also, empowering you to play your part in a situation that none of us welcome, but that we all find ourselves in.