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Terror Threat ‘Severe’ Over Festive Season, Police Warn

Published on: 14 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 15 Dec, 2020

A national warning on terrorism over the Christmas season has been added to worries about coronavirus and Brexit. With the threat rated as “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely, police in Surrey and Sussex are supporting the national public awareness campaign.

Surrey’s Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said: “There is no current specific threat to Surrey or Sussex. We know a terrorist attack can happen anywhere and at any time, and the collective community effort to security will always be the most effective.”

The recent terror attacks in Europe and the upgrade in the UK’s terrorism threat level are reminders of how important it is to stay vigilant wherever you are.

Counter-terrorist policing and local forces work throughout the year to give advice and guidance on safety and security measures. But everyone has their part to play, reminded to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity.

Officers and staff have been briefed on the national threat level and the need to remain alert, and high-level armed patrols continue across both counties.

Leaflets with the awareness message are being distributed in busy places and social media is also spreading the message. Cooperation between the public and the police is a powerful defence against terrorism. Together, communities defeat terrorism.

ACC Miller added: “Everyone has their part to play and our winter campaign encourages everyone to remain alert and report anything suspicious to police, security or staff. By working alongside businesses, as well as the public, we can all help to keep each other safe.”

Officers will keep encouraging people to look out for suspicious behaviour and tell people how to report their concerns, providing a “whole society£ approach where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attacks.

If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT. If you are out shopping or in a hospitality area, report your suspicions to security staff or the police.

You can also report in confidence to the police online at gov.uk/ACT where there is further information about the police message.

In addition, parents, friends and families can now get specialist support to stop their loved ones being drawn into harmful activities or groups, with the launch of ACT Early, a dedicated safeguarding website (www.actearly.uk) and advice line from the specialists at Counter-Terrorism Policing (CTP).

In an emergency, always call 999.

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