People living in our region are being urged to trust their instincts and report anything suspicious to Counter Terrorism Policing this Christmas.
In the last year, Counter Terrorism Policing received around 10,000 reports from members of the public. A fifth of these reports were turned into intelligence used to disrupt terrorist activity in the UK.
As people head into town and city centres for the festivities, it is vital that people remain alert and aware of their surroundings.
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said: “In recent months we have seen two terror incidents take place on the streets of the UK, these have been a stark reminder of the threat extremism poses to our communities.
“As a result of these incidents, the threat level has been increased to severe and some areas of the UK have seen an increased police presence. “Along with our security service colleagues, we at Counter Terrorism Policing are working around the clock to keep you safe. Nevertheless, it is vital we have the support of the public.
“What I ask is that whilst you’re out and about, enjoying your work Christmas party, shopping, or visiting friends and family, that you remain vigilant.
“You might spot something that seems a bit strange, or notice someone you know behaving differently. If this is the case, then please contact us, you could save lives.”
Some examples of suspicious activity or behaviour could include:
- Taking notes or photos about security arrangements in city centres, or at events
- Hiring large vehicles for no clear reason
- Buying or storing large amounts of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reasons
- Suspicious or unusual bank transactions
You can find more information and make a report here. In an emergency always dial 999.
At Counter Terrorism Policing, investigators are currently working on 800 live investigations and have disrupted 31 plots since 2017.
Detective Chief Superintendent Snowden added: “You are not wasting our time by reporting your concerns, no call or click will be ignored. What you tell us will be treated in the strictest confidence and any piece of information could be important.
“Your information could be a vital piece in a much bigger puzzle, and you could help police prevent terrorist activity.”