Counter Terrorism Policing North East is asking people to be their eyes and ears this Christmas, as cities, towns and villages across the region begin to celebrate the festive season.
With footfall expected to increase significantly over the coming weeks, officers are urging members of the public to stay alert and report anything that doesn’t seem right.
The North East element of the campaign was launched in York this morning by Detective Superintendent Matt Davison, the regional Head of Protect and Prepare. He said: “Unfortunately the threat from terrorism remains very real, and recent incidents demonstrate that attacks can happen anywhere, and without warning. Whilst there is no intelligence to suggest there is a specific threat to the region, we still need people to help keep each other safe.
“What we’re asking is simple. Stay alert and trust your instincts. If you see something that doesn’t feel right, please report it. Don’t assume someone else will make that call, or worry you’re wasting our time. We’d rather receive multiple reports than none at all, and your actions could save lives.”
The threat to the UK from terrorism is currently at ‘Substantial’, which means an attack is likely.
Counter Terrorism Policing is working with police forces and local authorities across the UK to take appropriate, precautionary steps to deter terrorists and to promote vigilance. When combined with physical security measures, widespread public awareness and support helps to keep our towns and cities safe, by making them a less attractive target for terrorists.
Detective Superintendent Matt Davison continued: “While we work around the clock, with specialist officers deployed across the North East to disrupt terrorist activity, support from the public is vital.
“You know your community, your town and your street better than anyone, and you know when something isn’t right.”
“What we need you to do is trust your instincts. Let’s look out for each other this winter.”
If you spot something suspicious, or think you might have useful information, please report it in confidence on 0800 789 321, or at gov.uk/ACT . In the case of an emergency, always call 999.
If you’re concerned about someone you know, or have concerns about radicalisation, visit ACT Early for help and advice. You can also call the Act Early support line on 0800 011 3764 (between 9am and 5pm) to speak with specially trained officers.
The national Winter Vigilance Campaign is being launched at locations throughout the UK this week.
The importance of public vigilance is being promoted through digital assets and advertising at locations and attractions with high footfall, in addition to online platforms.
Examples of these assets can be found at www.protectuk.police.uk/vigilance-campaign