More than 3000 people have contacted the police with information about possible terrorist activity since a campaign to encourage more calls from the public was launched in March.
The news comes as one of the UK’s most senior counter terrorism officers, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, told an audience of security industry experts today that their role in protecting the public is more vital than ever.
Most of the concerns raised by the public as a result of the Action Counters Terrorism, or ACT, initiative turned out to be nothing to cause any alarm. However, a crucial number contained important pieces of information that resulted in further action from police - information that might otherwise have been missed.
A significant number of the calls were made following the Westminster attack.
DAC D’Orsi, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Protective Security, revealed the figures to an audience attending the annual CT Expo at London Olympia. She also told delegates the police aimed to increase its use of the National Barrier Asset - temporary protective structures - during short term sumner events that attract large crowds.
“The increased response from the general public and from professionals whose job it is to keep people safe within crowded places, has been really heartening,” she says.
“But, as we have seen very recently here in London, we can not afford to stand still. We need to exploit every possible way of keeping people safe - and do all we can to keep everyone vigilant.
“We are working very closely with security managers in busy shopping centres, transport hubs and entertainment venues. The fact that record numbers are attending this event shows the desire to do more.
“Whether it is in business communities or local communities, we need to encourage everyone to keep contributing because, sadly, terrorism is a growing and increasingly complex threat.”
CT policing is promoting the National Barrier Asset (NBA) at the two-day Expo. This is a unique unit within world policing that manages, with the help of expert technicians, protective barriers that can be deployed by any of the England and Wales Home Office forces.
Some of the NBA equipment is placed around Parliament and is likely to have saved more people from Khalid Masood’s devastating drive along Westminster bridge and around Parliament.
The ACT campaign was launched eight weeks ago. In addition to the 3000 calls, there has also been 300 referrals regarding online extremist material and 850,000 have watched the ACT films. The ‘Code Severe’ podcast - the first ever podcast from police - reached number two in the charts.
Full information about the campaign, and how to contact police with concerns, can be found at gov.uk/ACT.