As the country eases out of lockdown, the senior officer responsible for ensuring the UK is protected against the threat of terrorism is warning businesses and the public that they must be alert to more than just the threat of COVID-19.
Counter Terrorism Policing’s senior national coordinator for Protect and Prepare, deputy assistant commissioner Matt Twist, believes the easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate.
He is appealing for business owners and the public to remain vigilant and report anything that doesn’t seem right to security staff or the police.
The threat to the UK from terrorism remains at substantial, meaning an attack is likely, and as public places such as non-essential shops, hospitality and sports events begin to open up, the security experts at counter terrorism policing have launched a new vigilance campaign to encourage everyone to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting any concerns.
Deputy assistant commissioner Matt Twist said: “Following a year of restrictions impacting all our lives, we recognise people will be keen to get out and about as the lockdown begins to ease and the importance of businesses being able to return to more regular trading patterns.
“But we must continue to follow public health guidance and remain vigilant, not just against the threat of the virus, but against the threat of terrorism as well.
“Terrorism will understandably not have been high on anyone’s mind in recent months, and I would describe the threat as temporarily suppressed during lockdown, because it was difficult to go out in public and actually do anything.
“But that means that as the crowded places, which have traditionally been the target for terrorists, start to fill with people again, there is always the potential for that risk to come back.”
Much of CTP’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 CTP experts, informing how to react in the unlikely event of a terror attack and how to spot and report suspicious activity and behaviour.
Visit https://ct.highfieldelearning.com/ to register for access.
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