The awareness campaign will call on communities to act on their instincts to help prevent atrocities taking place in the UK and overseas. The appeal comes as new figures reveal that information from the public has assisted counter terrorism police in a third of the most ‘high-risk’ investigations, helping keep communities safe.
The UK’s most senior counter terrorism officer, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, will launch a new ‘Action Counters Terrorism’, or ‘ACT’, campaign today urging the public to report suspicious activity to the police.
Mr Rowley will tell an audience of community and business representatives in Manchester that information from the public continues to help keep people safe by playing a significant part in recent successes in countering terrorism. However, officers need even more information to build better intelligence pictures on individuals or groups plotting attacks.
This comes as the threat, which remains ‘Severe’ - meaning an attack is highly likely, continues to diversify and expand. This is seen in cases where terrorists have been able to reach across the world to radicalise often vulnerable, volatile or chaotic individuals and groups, and inspire and direct them using instant and secure communications.
CNC Chief Constable Mike Griffiths said: “As a national police force with responsibility for the armed protection of civil nuclear facilities and materials, counter-terrorism is at the heart of what the CNC do.
“The severe threat level indicates that it is highly likely that a terrorist attack could happen in the UK although it has not been raised in response to a specific threat. This campaign reminds everybody, from law enforcement to businesses to the general public that they have a role to play in keeping the UK safe from terrorism.
“This awareness campaign also asks us all to be vigilant - if you suspect it, report it. Nobody is better placed to detect something that is out of place in their communities than the people living in them.”
The campaign will feature a dedicated website, radio advertising, as well as a podcast series for the first time. The podcasts aim to give never heard before accounts of police action to protect the public. In one episode: ‘Multiple Bombings’, a former Special Branch officer explains the race against time to secure vital evidence right under the nose of a terrorist suspect in a highly sensitive covert operation. We also hear from a member of the public who acted on her instincts after seeing something suspicious and called police, helping detectives locate core ingredients for a massive bomb.
Visit the ACT website to find out more
Anyone with any suspicions should call the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.