News story

UK terror threat raised to 'Critical'

Police doing what the public expects to keep people safe and urging people to stay alert


National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said:

“The investigation into the terrorist attack in Manchester is large scale, fast moving and making good progress. There has been an arrest and there are currently multiple searches and other activity taking place as I speak.

However at this stage it is still not possible to be certain if there was a wider group involved in the attack; 24 hours in we have a number of investigative leads that we are pursuing to manage the ongoing threat.

This concern has led to the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre to raise the threat level to “critical” this evening. It means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent.

The public would expect the police to do everything possible to prevent further attacks and keep them safe. We are flexing our resources to increase police presence at key sites, such as transport and other crowded places and we are reviewing key events over the coming weeks.

As the Prime Minister has already said this evening I have asked for support from the military to be deployed alongside the police. This will free up armed officers from certain guarding duties to release our officers to support the wider response.

This is part of an agreed and well-rehearsed plan and military personnel will remain under the command and control of the police service.

At this time we are asking the public to remain calm but alert. If you see anything that causes you concern, then let us know immediately, if you have suspicions about someone’s behaviour call us.

Look out for anything that seems out of place, unusual or doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life. It may be nothing but if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist related trust your instinct no matter how small then ACT and call 999.”

Updates and advice following the incident in Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.

Following the recent attacks, it is important that businesses reassure their staff to ensure they are alert, but not alarmed. This is the right moment for businesses to review their security plans to ensure that the measures they should already have in place, are still current and have been tested to ensure staff are prepared and confident. For more information and advice on protecting your business or organisation from the terrorist threat visit the NACTSO website.

Protective Security Advice


Initial actions at a terrorist major incident

Personnel security, good guarding practice

Depending upon their responsibilities an effective security guard must be able to demonstrate they can respond effectively to a number of scenarios including:


Are your first aid kits and crisis incident kits (grab bags) checked regularly, complete and accessible?

Search Planning

Do you have plans to search your site to deal effectively with either bomb threats or for secreted threat items, and are your staff familiar with those plans?

Do you have a person and vehicle, search and screening policy and plan that you can implement should there be a threat increase?

Business as usual search and screen (looking for prohibited items) should, when done well, provide a very good capability to detect larger terrorist items concealed about the person

  • ensure the search and screening regime in place at the venue is done well
  • consider provisional search and screening on the approach or outside the venue, for example a visual check inside jackets and bags
  • ensure you maintain your search and patrol regime for the lifecycle of the event including prior to the commencement, during and post event
  • provide effective public address messaging of people as they approach, asking people to prepare for additional search and screening. This should reduce unacceptable delay
  • prior notification (at point of sale or media) of these extra security measures and encouraging people to arrive early, will smooth peaks and allow safe and effective searching


Have you reviewed your evacuation, invacuation and lockdown plans in response to terrorist attack?

Physical Security

Have you checked CCTV systems? Are they all working correctly? Are the date/time stamps accurate?

Security Culture

Are all staff identifiable and wearing identification? Do you encourage staff to challenge anyone in their building not displaying ID?

Reporting suspicious transaction

If you are suspicious of a transaction or attempted transaction, or discover a theft or disappearance that cannot easily be explained, report it to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or email Chemical.Reporting@Met.Police.UK.

Home Office guidance on selling chemical products responsibly

Storage and sale explosive precursors

Guidance for the public, businesses and laboratories on using, storing and selling explosives precursors and poisons.


Remember to stay away from glass and out of line of sight for any devices. See the minimum cordon distances. Once the security services arrive cordons may be deployed, the following are minimum distances.

100 meters - Briefcase or Rucksack

200 meters - Suitcase, wheelie bin, small car

400 meters - Larger items, lorries and vans

News updates

NaCTSO will continue to update our advice as needed, in the meantime please continue to use our current advice. Please check back regularly to these pages for updated information or register for updates here.

You can follow @G M Police and @Terrorism Police for Twitter updates on the incident.

Useful information that may assist when deploying the tactical options:

Find out more about the Action Counters Terrorism campaign.

If you see anything that causes you concern or raises your suspicions do not hesitate to call the Police confidentially on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency 999. If you get caught up in the rare event of a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.

Published 24 May 2017