London, June 18 : Prime Minister Gordon Brown today described security as "one of the greatest challenges in the modern world," and warned that the security services were monitoring 2,000 terror suspects in the UK, in 200 networks with 30 current plots.
Addressing the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank, Brown said Britain must be ready to use 21st century solutions to deal with 21st century threats of global terrorism and organised crime.
It was time to write a "new chapter" in Britain's history, which would both protect citizens' security and individual liberties, The Sun quoted Brown, as saying.
He defended policies like 42-day pre-charge detention for terror suspects and a national identity database, arguing that those threatening ordinary people's security were ready to use the most up-to-date technology and the authorities could not afford to adopt a "head-in-the-sand" approach in response.
Brown's speech came days after Conservative David Davis announced he was standing down as an MP in order to fight a by-election on the issue of civil liberties and shortly after 36 Labour MPs rebelled against the 42-day proposal.
Brown said: "The modern security challenge is defined by new and unprecedented threats - terrorism, global organised crime, organised drug trafficking, people trafficking, to name but some.
"Facing these modern challenges, it is our duty to write a new chapter in our country's story - one in which we both protect and promote our security and our liberty, two equally proud traditions," he said.