Action Counters Terrorism - ACT
With the terror threat becoming increasingly complex and varied,
police are calling on communities to act on their instincts to help
prevent atrocities taking place in the UK and overseas.
The appeal comes as new figures reveal information from the public
has assisted counter terrorism police in a third of their most
‘high-risk’ investigations, helping keep communities safe.
The UK’s most senior counter terrorism officer, Assistant
Commissioner Mark Rowley has launched a new Action Counters
Terrorism, or ACT, campaign urging the public to report suspicious
activity to the police.
Detective Superintendent Glen Channer, head of
the Eastern Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (ECTIU), said:
“Communities can be confident that, together with our partners,
Eastern forces are continually working hard to safeguard the
public. As part of ACT, we are encouraging our public to work
hand-in-hand with us, acting as our eyes and ears and reporting
anything that concerns them.
“We know that information from the public continues to play
significant part in recent successes in countering terrorism.
However, officers need even more information to help build better
intelligence pictures on individuals or groups plotting
“The threat of terrorism is becoming more
varied and the move towards low-tech attacks on crowded places,
like those we have seen in major European cities and beyond, makes
it even more important everyone remains vigilant and acts, by
calling us confidentially, if they are concerned about suspicious
The campaign is launched as the current
threat, which remains 'Severe', meaning an attack is highly likely
- continues to diversify and expand. This is seen in cases where
terrorists have been able to reach across the world to radicalise
often vulnerable, volatile or chaotic individuals and groups, and
inspire and direct them using instant and secure
Assistant Commissioner Rowley says: “It is very encouraging that in
a third of cases involving our most serious terrorist suspects we
have benefited from information from the public. The number
or calls and online reports we receive is also increasing. This is
a testament to the trust people hold in policing - but now we are
appealing for even more.
“Counter terrorism policing and the security and intelligence
services are working tirelessly to keep the public safe and
together we have stopped 12 attacks since the summer of 2013.
However, advances in technology make it more complex and
challenging for us to spot would-be terrorists because it's easier
for them to be in contact with others and be radicalised in a
relatively short space of time using encrypted communications.”
Last year a record number of people contacted
the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline, with the service receiving
more than 22,000 calls. Officers hope this number will continue to
increase if more can be done to encourage people to call or report
Research to support the ACT campaign looked at
public attitudes towards CT policing. Over 80% of respondents said
that it was important for communities to work with police to
prevent terrorism. However a quarter of those surveyed said they
might not report their suspicions because of fears over wasting
police time and 39% were unsure about what suspicious behaviour
might look like.
Mr Rowley adds: “Our call and report numbers are increasing and
research has shown many people want to play their part, but some
people worry they might be wasting our time or they are not
sure what sort of activity might be suspicious. So we want to allay
those concerns and help them to help us make nothing happen.”
Don't delay, just ACT
If you think you have seen a person acting suspiciously, or if
you see a vehicle, unattended package or bag which might be a
threat, immediately move away and call 999.
If you have suspicions about somebody's activities or behaviour,
or if you have any information that might be relevant, report it
online via the button above or call
the Confidential Anti-Terrorist hotline on 0800 789
321. Let the police decide if the information you have is
important. What might seem insignificant on its own could actually
provide a vital link in a wider investigation.
If you suspect it, report it. You can also give non-urgent
information that may assist police investigations by calling
Bedfordshire Police: 101.
If you have information that requires an urgent and immediate
police response always call 999.
More information on what to look out for and how to contact
police can be found here.