Guidance

Public vigilance

Published 24 November 2015

1. How can you help?

As part of CT Awareness Week the police are today setting out what the public can look out for and how they can contact us with information that can help keep communities safe.

2. What is the CTIRU?

The police Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) is a specialist team set up to tackle the growing number of illegal terrorist and violent extremist content on the internet. They remove around 1000 pieces of material from the internet every week. Communities and businesses can assist the CTIRU by reporting suspected online terrorist activity

3. Be Alert, not Alarmed

Acts of terrorism in the UK are rare but sadly there is a likelihood that terrorists will try to attack us. Recent events around the world are a reminder of the threat we face.

While concerted action by the police and security services takes place every day to protect the public it is important for communities to be alert, but not alarmed.

4. We need to work together

It is also important for the police and communities to work together. Communities defeat terrorism as the police need the help of ordinary and extraordinary citizens to be our eyes and ears. This is why we are today reminding the public to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious to the police.

Whether it’s researching online for potential targets or trying to obtain firearms or chemicals, terrorists have to plan and prepare any attack. They also need to communicate with one another and fund their activities. Some of their activities or behaviour may attract attention or be suspicious.

We are asking the public to look out for and report any suspicious activity. Suspicious activity is anything that seems out of place, unusual or just 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 instincts and call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

This is why it is important for information about such activities to be passed to the police. Let us decide whether the information you have is important or not. No piece of information is considered too small or insignificant. 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 through the anti-Terrorist Hotline is treated in the strictest of confidence. It is thoroughly analysed and researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken. In the last year there has been a 25% increase in the number of calls to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline.