Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism. The current threat level to the UK is assessed as severe. Whilst there is no specific threat to South Yorkshire, no community is immune from the threat we currently face. Further information about the current threat leavel can be found here.
We all have a role in preventing terrorism. Across the country, people from all faiths and backgrounds are standing together to tackle terrorism. By making sure we each know how to recognise the signs and know what action to take, we can work together to prevent acts of terrorism.
You may be reluctant to report suspicious activity or behaviour, such as a person taking an unusual interest in security arrangements, because ‘Chances are, it’s probably nothing’ But what if it isn’t nothing?
Just one piece of information could be vital in helping disrupt terrorist planning and, in turn save lives.
Signs to look out for
Terrorists live amongst us, they need to plan and prepare; buy and store materials and fund their activities.
· Terrorists need storage - Lock-ups, garages and sheds can all be used by terrorists to store equipment.
· Terrorists use chemicals - Do you know someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals for no obvious reason?
· Terrorists need funding - Cheque and credit card fraud are ways of generating cash. Have you seen any suspicious transactions?
· Terrorists use multiple identities - Do you know someone with documents in different names for no obvious reason?
· Terrorists need information - Do you know someone taking an interest in security, like CCTV cameras for no obvious reason?
· Terrorists need transport - If you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental made you suspicious?
· Terrorists have people that help them – Have you noticed people coming and going at strange times of the day and night?
Trust your instincts, if you think something isn’t right tell us. The information you give us could help stop terrorists in their tracks and help save lives. If you suspect it, report it.
How do I report suspected terrorist activity?
If something strikes you as suspicious and out of place, then trust your instincts.
Call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. If the threat is immediate call, 999.
You can also report suspected terrorist activity online by clicking the button at the top of this page.
What is CONTEST?
CONTEST is the government's strategy for counter terrorism, divided into four areas:
CONTEST was launched in 2003 in response to the growing threat from international terrorism. The strategy has evolved significantly overt the last eight years, in line with lessons learned, public and political scrutiny and the developing threat.
For more information about CONTEST click here.
Counter Terrorism Security Advisors
There are dedicated Counter Terrorism Security Advisors (CTSAs) who are co-ordinated, trained and tasked by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.
The primary role of these advisors is to provide protective and counter terrorism security advice to support businesses. CTSAs can assist and advise on matters relating to current terrorist threats and incident management planning including:
· Dealing with bomb threat and telephone calls
· Building searches and evacuation
· Contingency planning for terrorist incidents
· Dealing with suspect packages
· Physical / Personal and IT security
You can contact the South Yorkshire Police CTSAs by email.
Travel to Syria
The North East Counter Terrorism Unit is supporting a national awareness campaign, aimed at protecting young people from the dangers of travelling to Syria.
Police are appealing to all communities to help protect young people who may be planning to travel there. While the campaign reaches out to women in particular, police are encouraging anyone who is concerned about the safety of a loved one to come forward.
The number of people travelling to Syria from the UK is increasing and is now believed to be in the low hundreds. Due to serious safety concerns, travel to Syria for any purpose is strongly discouraged by the UK authorities. Anyone travelling there is in danger.
· Syria is unsafe and foreigners are not welcome there.
· You may not reach your destination
· A number of people from the UK have been killed or injured in Syria
· There is a high risk of terrorism and kidnap
· There is little medical support
· There are regular disruptions to phone, internet, electricity and road networks
· You may not be able to access cash
· It may become impossible to contact family and friends
It is vital that people who genuinely want to help the Syrian cause know how they can do so safely and legally. The advice is to donate to registered charities which have experience of providing humanitarian assistance in high risk, insecure and dangerous environments and which have ongoing relief operations in Syria and/or neighbouring countries, such as the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) or its member charities.
The Charity Commission’s website should be used to check that a charity is registered and to ensure that donations will be used properly - www.charity-commission.gov.uk
Please find further advice and information about travelling to Syria in the attached documents on this page. Advice is also available by calling 101.
If you have concerns about someone who is planning to travel to Syria, call 101 to talk to an officer in confidence.
To contact the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline, call 0800 789 321.
What communities can do to protect themselves
Reporting suspicions and concerns:
1. By calling the confidential anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 to pass on potentially crucial information about suspicious activity - on average we get 32 calls a day from the public;
2. By calling us with concerns about someone who may be being radicalised or learning about specialist services and support for vulnerable people - we already get on average two referrals every day from the public on top of the dozens more from statutory bodies like social services and health; while 300 people visit our Prevent Tragedies for advice and support every day;
3. By reporting violent extremist material online to our Red Stop Button (below) to help us remove illegal terrorist material from the internet - on average we get five referrals from the public every day with many more from third sector organisations resulting in thousands of pieces of extremist online content being removed every week.
And by being prepared:
4. By visiting www.gov.uk/nactso to get valuable advice and information from specialist police teams on how to protect your home or business - on average over 1750 sessions are recorded daily;
5. By taking part in our counter terrorism training and awareness events to help boost security in the workplace - on average 300 people a day are briefed or trained by specialist police officers and staff;
6. By watching this Stay Safe film so that should the worst happen and you are caught up in a weapons attack that you can take steps to save your and other's lives. Since its public launch there have been on average 1,250 views every day.