Monday 20th November 2015
Today sees the launch of national Counter Terrorism Awareness Week 2015, a campaign from the police service and partners to inform the public about the terrorism threat; what is being done to tackle it; how communities can help us, and offering practical advice about how to stay safe and be vigilant to the threat from terrorism whether at home, in business or online.
We recognise that in these times our relationship with the public – who we depend on for information about suspicious behaviour – needs to be stronger than ever before.
We are advising the public not to be concerned about the things they are unable to control, but instead to focus on what they can do that will make a difference, and to make sure they know where to get information from the police in a crisis, whether its through social media or more traditional ways such as radio and TV.
Visit the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) website at: www.gov.uk/nactso today and every day this week for information around how to stay safe and how to be vigilant against the threat from terrorism. Follow @Policechiefs on Twitter https://twitter.com/PoliceChiefs where will be using #CounterTerrorismUK.
Following the recent shocking events in Paris, it is important to highlight that the threat level to the UK from international terrorism remains at SEVERE, which means an attack is highly likely. The UK has been operating at this level since August 2014 and it is important that following these events all communities remain alert but not alarmed.
The police and security services are working hard to protect the public and businesses from terrorism and this week gives us an opportunity to remind communities about this threat and help them to take the necessary steps to stay safe. The launch today outlines the current threat and what is being done to tackle it.
On Tuesday the focus will be on terrorist attack planning – both online and off – and explains what to look out for and how the public can get in touch with the police if they have concerns or information about suspicious behaviour or activity.
Wednesday will see the conversation move toward how businesses and industry can be best prepared against the online threat from cyber terrorism.
On Thursday efforts will concentrate on the dangers of online radicalisation and how to safeguard those who are vulnerable.
At the end of the week, in advance of one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, we will highlight useful information that will explain how to keep popular digital gift items safe from unwanted external influences.
To mark the beginning of Counter Terrorism Awareness Week the police service is reminding the public of how they can help us tackle the current terror threat, while providing information and advice on how to keep safe.
Recent events in Paris remind us all of the threat we face, which in the UK is considered as severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.
The level of threat is complex and ranges from lone actors intent on carrying out crude and violent attacks to sophisticated networks pursuing ambitious and coordinated plots – as we saw starkly demonstrated in France and other parts of the world.
This increased level of activity is matched by increased action by the police and security services, who are working on hundreds of active investigations and making an arrest a day.
We urge the public to be alert but not alarmed by the threat, and reassure them that the police service carries out daily activities to help maintain the protection and security of our citizens, public institutions, critical national infrastructure, and businesses and places, including those who are potential terrorist targets.
Our security measures and activities are constantly reviewed to reflect where the threats exist and the level of threat we are facing;
This week gives us an opportunity to remind communities about this threat and what we are doing to tackle it, as well as providing information to help them to take the necessary steps to stay safe.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Specialist Operations said: The police service is working tirelessly to confront the terrorist threat we all face. To do this we need the help of the public. We need them to be alert, but not alarmed. I would also say, make sure you know where you can get information from the police in a crisis, whether its through social media or more traditional ways such as radio and TV.
I would urge the public not to be concerned about things they are unable to control, but to focus instead on what they can do that will make a difference. Be vigilant and you could be the person who spots something odd or unusual and prevents an attack.
Communities defeat terrorism, which is why the Police relationship with the public is so important and it now needs to be stronger than ever before. Police depend on the public to be our eyes and ears. We need everyone to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency dial 999.
Visit the NaCTSO website today and every day this week for information about how to stay safe online and how to be vigilant against the threat from terrorism. www.gov.uk/nactso.
What to do if you notice activity that may be suspicious?
You may feel its probably nothing, but unless you trust your instincts and talk to the police, they wont be able to judge whether the information you have is important or not.
Specially trained officers would rather take lots of calls which are made in good faith, but have innocent explanations rather than not getting any at all, all information passed to the police is treated in the strictest of confidence. It is thoroughly analysed and researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken.
Remember, no piece of information is considered too small or insignificant.
Its probably nothing but .if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related trust your instincts and call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
In an emergency, always dial 999.