Counter terrorism awareness week in Tayside

Police Scotland.
Police Scotland.

Police Scotland, Tayside Division is participating in the UK-wide Counter Terrorism Awareness Week which runs from November 24 to November 30.

The aim of the campaign is to raise public awareness of the current terrorist threat.

The threat level from terrorism in the UK has for a number of weeks been graded as SEVERE. This means that a terrorist attack within the UK is assessed as ‘highly likely’ although there is no specific intelligence regarding a planned attack, not least in the Tayside area.

The aim of Counter Terrorism Awareness Week is not to alarm the public or cause a climate of fear within our communities. Rather, it is intended to raise public awareness of the nature of the current threat and enlist the help of all communities to work with the police and other public bodies to protect ourselves as best we can.

Each day of the Awareness Week has a particular theme or focus for police activity:

Monday; Crowded Places; Tuesday, transport hubs; Wednesday, preventing violent extremism; Thursday, terrorist financing; Friday, firearms and explosives; Saturday and Sunday, crowded places.

Superintendent Graeme Murdoch, counter-terrorism lead for Tayside Division said: “Terrorists have targeted busy, well populated places to ensure that their attacks have maximum impact. Businesses and members of the public in crowded places such as city centres, shopping centres, retail parks and big entertainment venues have a vital role to play in being vigilant for any suspicious or concerning activity.

“Transport hubs are also vulnerable targets as they attract large numbers of people and present an opportunity to damage our infrastructure. Throughout the coming week, officers will be visiting these types of place to raise our profile and chat with businesses, staff and the public about some of these issues.

“Another big concern at this time is the vulnerability of individuals within our communities who may be influenced in their thinking or actions by radical thinking or extremist activity. We all know that a significant number of people from the UK have travelled to join or have aligned themselves with groups like ISIL. However, we must be very conscious of events such as the murder of Lee Rigby, the Boston Marathon bombing and the recent incident in Ottawa. These must bring home to us all that the threat can very easily come from inside our own communities.

“Everyone can help by being vigilant and by reporting any concerns or anything suspicious that they have heard or seen. We will follow up on all of these reports appropriately and with diligence. If you see anything suspicious, call us as soon as you can on 101, or on 999 if you consider there is an immediate threat to anyone’s safety. Alternatively you can share any information or concerns by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321”.