Police in the UK are today, Monday 23 November, launching the second national Counter Terrorism Awareness Week.
The week is about reminding the public that they have a key role in helping to prevent and protect the UK from the threat of terrorism.
Recent events in Paris have brought into sharp focus the type and scale of threat posed by international terrorism, and the relationship between the police and the public needs to be stronger then ever before to counter this threat.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, from the UK Counter Terrorism Policing Network said:
I cannot overstate the importance of the role that the public plays in helping to protect the UK against the threat of terrorism. Since the threat level was raised to ‘severe’ last year, police activity has increased accordingly in terms of number of arrests and investigations we’re carrying out. But just as importantly, we’re getting more calls and more information from the public which is vital to us.
Whilst recent events in Paris were both sickening and horrific, people shouldn’t feel powerless. There is still lots you can do as ordinary members of the public, as neighbours, as employees and even as parents to keep an eye out for the unusual and let us know.
Each day this week, police will be focusing on a different aspect of counterterrorism and terrorist threats from attack planning; protecting businesses and crowded places; cyber attacks; and online extremism and radicalisation.
Advice will be given to the public on the various ways that they can help be it through reporting suspicious activity on the Anti Terrorist Hotline (0800 789 321), flagging up an extremist website or getting in touch with the right support services if they’re concerned about a loved-one becoming radicalised.
Specialist counterterrorism officers and experts will also be carrying out a series of web chats during the week on the @PoliceChiefs Twitter account to give advice and answer questions on:
- what to do if you come across extremist or terrorist content online
- what to do if you’re concerned about a friend or relative who could be vulnerable to radicalisation
- how businesses can protect against the threat of attack – both physical and cyber
- how to protect your computer and hardware equipment from malicious intrusion
As part of CT awareness week, information, advice and guidance documents will be published daily on the National CounterTerrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) website at: www.gov.uk/nactso and police forces across the country will be using social media accounts to share this content and engage in conversations with the public using the hashtag #CounterTerrorismUK.
Counterterrorism security advisors across the country will also be working with businesses and organisations, briefing staff and security managers on how they can protect their premises, staff, and IT systems from attacks.
Any suspicious activity or behaviour can be reported to police via the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline by calling 0800 789 321. Extremist or terrorist content online can be reported at www.gov.uk/report-terrorism