Today, Wednesday, 25 November, is the third day of Counter Terrorism Awareness Week 2015, a campaign from the police service and partners to inform the public about the terrorism threat; what is being done to tackle it; how communities can help, and offering practical advice about how to stay safe and be vigilant to the threat from terrorism whether at home, in business or online.
Counter Terrorism Awareness Week has been planned for a long time but its relevance is all the more obvious due to the atrocities we have all witnessed with the recent terrorist activity in France and in Mali.
The threat could manifest itself in many ways; from an individual working alone to terrorist networks planning coordinated attacks.
It is important to highlight that the threat level to the UK from international terrorism remains at SEVERE, which means an attack is highly likely. The UK has been operating at this level since August 2014 and it is important that following these events all communities remain alert but not alarmed and report any suspicious activity to Police Scotland.
Police Scotland carries out daily activities to help maintain the protection and security of all our communities and this week gives us an opportunity to remind communities about this threat and what we are doing to tackle it, as well as providing information to help them to take the necessary steps to stay safe.
On Monday the campaign was launched, One of the areas focus is on public vigilance to help report terrorist activity – both online and off – and explains what to look out for and how the public can get in touch with the police if they have concerns or information about suspicious behaviour or activity.
On Thursday efforts will concentrate on the dangers of online radicalisation and how to safeguard those who are vulnerable.
At the end of the week, in advance of one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, we will highlight useful information that will explain how to protect electronic goods from cyber risk.
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, Crime and Operational Support, Police Scotland said: “While people in Scotland remain safe going about their day to day business with family, friends and colleagues, I would encourage everyone to be vigilant, alert and avoid complacency. We are working tirelessly to confront the terrorist threat we all face. To do this we need the help of the public. Communities defeat terrorism, which is why our relationship with Scotland’s communities is so important and it now needs to be stronger than ever before.”
Guidance can be found on the Police Scotland website and we would advocate that people remain alert and vigilant and “If you suspect it, report it” by contacting Police Scotland directly by calling 101, in an emergency dial 999 or 0800 789 321 (Anti Terrorist Hotline).
Visit the NaCTSO website today and every day this week for information about how to stay safe online and how to be vigilant against the threat from terrorism. www.gov.uk/nactso.
Follow Twitter activity and web chats at: @Policechiefs or https://twitter.com/PoliceChiefs. #CounterTerrorismUK
Until Friday, there will be live webchats and Q&A sessions at 1000hrs each day.
Join the conversation at: @Policechiefs or https://twitter.com/PoliceChiefs at 10am and for those whose follow twitter, please follow #CounterTerrorismUK throughout the week for further information and tweets.
Also, we would be delighted to hear what you are doing this week to support the week’s themes and as such, would encourage you to not only follow #CounterTerrorismUK but to use it.