When you see the senseless horror of the last few days in Germany and France it is easy to say that more should be done, and in part I agree, but a “European anti-terror agency” as suggested by Walter Ellis, writing for Reaction, is not the answer. It will not win the war against ISIL.

Britain has seen its share of terror, of course. We should not forget the London bombings, the Glasgow airport attack, and the murder of Lee Rigby. But what we have experienced over the course of a decade has sadly been played out in Europe within a matter of weeks.

But our relative success in recent years is not dumb luck. We have foiled many attacks in the UK and, as Walter Ellis wrote here yesterday, we are “on notice”. This should be put in to context, however. We have been on notice since October 2012. The risk is a very real one. For nearly four years now an attack in the UK has been “highly likely”. A fact of which our security officials regularly remind our politicians.

One fringe benefit of having had in Theresa May nearly-the-longest-serving Home Secretary is an ability to build a deep understanding of the issues and to take meaningful steps to respond to it. As Home Secretary Theresa May did exactly that. The Government has invested time and money to develop and deliver a coherent counter-terrorism strategy. It has issues, such as balancing civil liberties with security, and the ongoing problem of those going to fight in Syria, but its success is undeniable. We look at our TV screens in horror at what is happening elsewhere rather than here.

Building a European anti-terror agency would not make our own security services any more effective. Instead it would add a layer of bureaucracy and take counter-terrorism policing further away from where it should be – in our communities, gathering the vital intelligence that lets the police catch terrorists before they strike.

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015 it was acknowledged that the French police and security forces were struggling to deal adequately with the volume of threats. To his credit President Hollande took this seriously and quickly pledged hundreds of millions of euros to build capacity to keep France safe. That decision was vital, but the British response was to allocate six times as much to boost security services that were hardly under-funded.

The contrast in the robustness of the parliamentary response in Britain and France is similarly stark. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 took less than three months to go from first reading to Royal Ascent. A similar measure to respond to the risk posed by those returning from Syria radicalised and weapons trained took fourteen months of debate in the French Parliament before finally being voted down in March.

European counter-terrorism policing, and their respective security services, should perhaps look at the UK model of resource allocation, powers, and counter-radicalisation work to understand how they can be more effective. Collaboration already takes place, and is not affected by our membership of the European Union, or our departure, one bit.

We should also take the time to recognise that we have been at this ‘War on Terror’ for nearly 15 years now. Increasingly it is a struggle that resembles that against Communism in the Cold War. Should we not look seriously at all the tools and techniques of that bygone era to find a way forward to win the war against ISIL?

Robert Pontin is a communications and strategy specialist and former senior manager at the Metropolitan Police Service and Transport for London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has a strong interest in public service, innovation and reform.