WATCH: Hampshire police support national Action Counters Terrorism campaign
POLICE are urging the public to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity.
In the UK, 82 per cent of adults have said they would report suspicious activity to the police.
Police want to keep this figure high and make sure people have the confidence to talk to officers if they notice anything that they believe could be terrorist-related.
Hampshire police We will be supporting the campaign efforts of their colleagues at the National Counter Terrorism Police.
Detective chief superintendent Kath Barnes, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: ‘It’s vital for the public to know that no matter how small the matter might be, if they think it is suspicious and have concerns, report it.
‘Counter Terrorism Policing South East will take all information seriously, any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report.
‘Communities are the key to defeating terrorism and people can help us prevent terrorism and save lives through their actions.
‘Since the beginning of 2017 we have foiled 10 Islamist and four right-wing terror plots, and there is no doubt in my mind that would have been impossible to do without relevant information from the public.’
More than a fifth of reports from the public produce intelligence which is helpful to police.
The recently appointed assistant commissioner of specialist operations (ACSO), Neil Basu, praised the public’s willingness to act in response to last year’s unprecedented rise in terrorist activity, which resulted in record numbers of people contacting the police through online referral forms and the confidential hotline to report suspicious behaviour and activity.
Now, he is launching the second phase of the ‘ACT –Action Counters Terrorism’ campaign, featuring a new 60-second film based on real-life foiled plots, which will show examples of terrorist-related suspicious activity and behaviour, as well as attack planning methodology.
ASCO Basu added: ‘We need help to exploit opportunities for police and the security services to discover and stop these attacks before they happen.
‘That could be someone buying or storing chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reasons, or receiving deliveries for unusual items, it could be someone embracing extremist ideology, or searching for such material online.
‘This new film has been made to try and help people understand recent terrorist attack-planning methods, but also to demonstrate that each report from the public can be one vital piece of a much larger picture.
‘The important thing for people to remember is that no report is a waste of our time, trust your instincts and tell us if something doesn’t feel right.’
Report anything unusual or suspicious at gov.uk/ACT.