Local people urged to support police fight against terrorism
Cheshire police and crime commissioner, David Keane, is encouraging residents of Cheshire to report suspicious activity and behaviour to help police tackle terrorism.
It follows the launch of the second phase of the ‘ACT – Action Counters Terrorism’ campaign which helps the public spot signs of terrorist attack planning methods.
The national campaign has been launched today (Tuesday 20 March) on the 25th anniversary of the IRA terrorist bombing in Warrington.
David said: “Sadly, 25 years on from the terrorist attack which claimed the lives of two innocent boys in Cheshire, terrorism is more of a threat than ever to people going about their everyday lives.
“The public can help us defeat terrorism by reporting suspicious activity or behaviour which can give police intelligence to foil terrorist plots and help save lives.
“Following last year’s unprecedented rise in terrorist activity, record numbers of people contacted the police via the online reporting form or confidential helpline to report their suspicions.
“This resulted in more than a fifth of reports being used as intelligence by police in the fight against terrorism.”
Research carried out by Counter Terrorism Policing suggests that while more than 80 per cent of people are motivated to report suspicious activity or behaviour, many are unclear exactly what they should be looking for.
As part of the campaign launch, a new 60-second film based on real life foiled plots has been released. It shows examples of terrorist-related activity, as well as attack planning methods.
“If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious, trust your instincts and report it”, added David.
“It 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.
“Any piece of information, no matter how small, could make the difference between a lethal attack or a successful disruption.”
As well as reporting suspicious activity to Cheshire police via 999 or 101, Cheshire residents can also use the online reporting tool (gov.uk/ACT).
All reports can be made anonymously. This information is then used by UK Counter Terrorism Police and local forces in their investigations.