Counter Terrorism Policing launches winter vigilance campaign

Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare and responsible for protecting the UK against terror attacks, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, believes that terror attacks in France and Austria are a tragic reminder that the threat of terrorism has not diminished during the pandemic and warn us that we must be vigilant against more than COVID-19 this winter.

Launching the winter vigilance campaign, DAC D’Orsi has advised that just like in the fight against coronavirus, we all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and others against the threat of terrorism.

She said: “With COVID-19 still casting a shadow over everyone’s lives, it is understandable that terrorism isn’t something most people are thinking much about right now.

“But recent attacks across Europe have shown us that the threat of terrorism has not gone away and in fact the UK’s terror threat level has just been raised to SEVERE – meaning an attack is highly likely.

“I must stress that there is no intelligence to link those attacks in Europe to the UK, but as we move out of the tightest lockdown restrictions into a busy shopping period in the run-up to Christmas, we want the public to be vigilant against more than just the virus.

“Similar to tackling COVID-19, defeating terrorism requires a collective community effort – where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attack.

”CTP and local forces work throughout the year with businesses across the country to give advice and guidance on safety and security measures. CTP is calling on the public to play their part by remaining vigilant while out and about. If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and report any concerns to police, security or staff. Reports can also be made in confidence at www.gov.uk/ACT.

In an emergency always call 999. Terrorist attacks are still very rare in the UK, but should you need to, remember to stay safe, and RUN, HIDE and TELL. Should anyone have concerns about someone close to them being drawn into harmful activities or groups, they can get specialist support by accessing ACT Early – a dedicated safeguarding website and advice line from the specialists at Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP).

To learn more about the role that you can play in defeating terrorism, free online training is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/act-awareness-elearning. Taking just 45 minutes to complete, the online training provides the latest advice from CT experts, including how to react in the unlikely event of a terror attack and how to spot and report suspicious activity and behaviour.

DAC D’Orsi added: “This training could save your life or the lives of others.

“Regrettably, we know all too well that a terror attack can happen anywhere and at any time.

“At Counter Terrorism Policing, we work with other national security partners to disrupt those intent on causing harm to our communities, but we need your help to do that effectively.

“Taking part in our free training and remaining vigilant when you’re out and about this winter helps keep us all safe and creates a hostile place for terrorists to operate.”