As Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) and police forces across the country prepare to protect football fans during the eagerly awaited Euro 2020 tournament, the British public is being asked to ensure they ‘know the game plan’ for security this summer.
While CTP is providing state of the art physical security measures for stadiums and official fan zones in both London and Scotland, as well as the latest protective security advice to tournament organisers, the public is also being asked to understand how they can play a role in keeping people safe while enjoying the great game.
As the nation counts down to England’s opening match against Croatia at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 13th June, CTP calls on fans to help protect themselves and others by remaining vigilant when they are out and about – and to report any concerns to stewards, security staff or the police.
During the pandemic the threat of terrorism has been supressed – but it has not gone away. Since lockdown restrictions have begun to ease, Counter Terrorism Policing has encouraged the public and businesses to stay vigilant. Whilst there is no specific intelligence to suggest a security threat surrounding events this summer, this is particularly important as crowded places, which have been the target for terrorists in the past, begin to fill with people again.
With tens of thousands expected to flock to London and Glasgow over the course of the next four weeks, as well as the many supporters who will watch matches in fan zones and hospitality venues around the country, Counter Terrorism Policing has been working alongside the FA, UEFA, Government, Police Scotland and local police forces to ensure that fans are protected against not just Covid-19, but terrorism too.
CTP’s Senior National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, said: “Firstly, I would like to make it clear that there is no specific intelligence to suggest that there is a threat to the tournament or the fans attending, but we know that terrorists seek out crowded places and high profile targets so it is important that we do everything we can to protect ourselves and others.
“Not only is CTP providing security measures such as specially-trained armed officers, hostile vehicle mitigation, impact protection vehicles and counter-drone technology to physically protect supporters, we’re also providing our own specialist counter-reconnaissance officers and helping tournament organisers to train their staff to spot suspicious activity and behaviour.
“But we’re also asking the public to know the game plan when it comes to our collective security, and to play a role in our team.
“Because we know that the best defence against the terrorist threat is a collective community effort – where police, security staff, businesses and the public work together to minimise the chance of attack.
“It’s important to remember that the chances of being caught in a terror attack are incredibly small, but terrorists prey on complacency, so we must take every opportunity to understand the threat, and how we should act when you see something that doesn’t look right – and CTP have free online training which is available to everyone.”
Football fans and the public in general are asked to do their bit in protecting the UK from terrorism by completing the official Action Counters Terrorism online e-learning for free.
Taking just 45 minutes to complete, the online training provides the latest advice from CT experts, informing how to react in the unlikely event of a terror attack and how to spot and report suspicious activity and behaviour.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK have already participated, Visit https://ct.highfieldelearning.com/ to register for access, or visit www.gov.uk/ACT to learn more about what you can do to help protect the UK.