Greater Manchester Police are urging people across the city to be extra vigilant and consider how they can play a part in preserving national security as part of Counter Terrorism Awareness week.
The public’s role in the fight against terrorism will be highlighted in a series of talks with business that will concentrate on themes from the UK’s counter terrorism strategy, CONTEST.
The message ‘Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare’ will explain how action from the police, organisations and the people can help prevent terrorist attacks.
Emphasis will be put on how being vigilant in crowded places and transport hubs, preventing violent extremism, cutting off terrorist financing and preventing access to tools that terrorists need to operate, all go hand in hand in the country’s battle against suspected terrorism.
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett, the North West lead for counter terrorism, said: “Following the increase of the international terrorism threat to severe, there is a heightened need to ensure that the North West is in the best position to deter and detect potential terrorist threats.
“The week highlights the importance of training people to look out for suspicious behaviour and what they should do if an attack happens, along with preventing terrorism and radicalisation.
“It is important to protect vulnerable people by responding to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it.”
ACC Ian Wiggett also confirmed that the campaign is not intended to fear monger.
He said: “This is not about scaring people but highlighting that everybody, from law enforcement to businesses to the general public, has a role to play in keeping the UK safe from terrorism.
“We encourage people to be vigilant to things that are out of place or suspicious and report it to the police.”
Popular crowded hotspots including Manchester Arndale, Old Trafford football stadium, the Trafford Centre and the Printworks, are all expected to make up the list of 11 venues across the region that will get briefings form police forces as part of the ‘Crowded Places’ theme to help step up their security.
Counter terrorism measures under ‘Op Griffin’ will also be used in the briefings to help organisations’ security challenges both on a day-to-day basis, and in the event of a major incident.
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Ward will talk about CT Awareness Week and Project Kraken which is a National Crime Agency, Police, and Border Force initiative to increase vigilance along the UK’s coastline.
Project Kraken aims to increase public reporting of unusual or suspicious behaviour in and around coastal and maritime environments.
Anyone who suspects something can call 101 or the Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321.
Image courtesy of Dan, with thanks.