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Monday, 2 August 2021

Counter Terrorism Policing urges vigilance as lockdown restrictions ease

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Counter Terrorism Policing has warned that the easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate. So it is appealing for business owners and the public to support the police’s 24/7 effort to keep the country safe by remaining vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t seem right to the police or security staff.

The threat to the UK from terrorism remains at ‘SUBSTANTIAL’.

What the threat levels mean:

Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack.

LOW means an attack is highly unlikely
MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is likely
SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
CRITICAL means an attack is highly likely in the near future

As public places, such as non-essential shops, hospitality and sports events begin to open up, Counter Terrorism Policing has launched a new ‘Easing Lockdown Vigilance Campaign’ to encourage everyone to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by remaining vigilant and reporting concerns.

Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, head of the counter terrorism policing unit at the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), which manages the threat of terrorism in Eastern England, said:

“Following a year of restrictions impacting all our lives, we recognise people will be keen to get out and about as the lockdown restrictions ease, and the importance of businesses being able to return to more regular trading patterns.

“Let’s enjoy these returning freedoms, but please do so in a way that help keeps us safe, not just from COVID-19 but terrorism as well.

“The terrorist threat will understandably not have been high on everyone’s mind in recent months, and I would describe the threat as temporarily suppressed during lockdown. The restrictions on public gatherings in the normal spaces meant there was less opportunity for those that seek to harm our communities.

“The best defence against the terrorist threat is a collective community effort – where police, security staff, businesses and the public come together to minimise the chance of attack, and that is why Counter Terrorism Policing are launching this campaign.”

Much of Counter Terrorism Policing’s campaign activity will be focussed on encouraging businesses to play their part in the collective effort by reviewing and updating their security plans, and properly risk-assess existing sites or any new areas such as outdoor spaces opened to meet COVID-19 safety rules.

The public can 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. For more information, visit CT Learning to register for access.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) tackles serious organised crime and the terrorism threat across the East of England.

More information can be found at www.ersou.police.uk.

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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