TODAY (Wednesday 23 January) Counter-Terrorism Policing are once again highlighting the importance of communities in the UK’s fight against terrorism by launching a new public information campaign, which will be shown in UK cinemas and across police social media accounts.
The new 60-second film is based on real-life foiled plots. It will show examples of terrorist-related suspicious activity and behaviour, as well as attack planning methodology 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.
Airing across 120 cinemas nationwide, including 13 across Birmingham, Sandwell, Coventry and Stoke, for the next eight weeks, the film will encourage people to report suspicious behaviour and activity through www.gov.uk/ACT and the confidential hotline – 0800 789 321.
Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward has praised the public’s willingness to ACT in response to the unprecedented terrorist threat, after it was revealed that the number of attacks across the UK foiled since March 2017 had risen to 18.
DCS Ward said: “Thankfully, we did not see the horrors of 2017 repeated last year, but we should not be complacent enough to think the terrorist threat has diminished. Counter Terrorism Policing officers are currently running more than 700 live investigations nationwide and the UK terrorist threat level remains at SEVERE meaning an attack is highly likely.
“However, crucial intelligence from the public has helped the police and the security services have prevented 18 terror attacks in just under two years. Twenty-two per cent of all reports we receive from members of the public produce important intelligence which is helpful to our investigations.
“Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan and that creates opportunities for police and the security services to discover and stop these attacks before they happen. So if you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence by phone or online.
“The important thing for people to remember is that no report is a waste of our time. Reporting your concerns to us won’t ruin lives, but it might save them.”