Counter Terrorism Policing has asked the public to play their part in keeping themselves and others safe while enjoying this weekend’s Bank Holiday events.
Police and partners have been focussing on improving security measures across a range of sectors, in a bid to keep festival-goers, holidaymakers and, most recently, football fans safe.
And as England, Wales and Northern Ireland prepare for the extended weekend with the many planned festivals, concerts and sporting events, Counter Terrorism security experts are urging people to spend a few minutes looking at advice which is designed to help save lives.
The National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Wilson, said: “While there is no information to suggest that any event is facing an increased risk of attack, the fact is that the UK’s threat level remains at ‘Severe’ which means an attack is highly likely.
“We know only too well that tragic events can happen without warning at any time or place, and crowded places can be particularly vulnerable. With so many events taking place this weekend, we want as many people as possible to know exactly how to keep themselves and others safe.
“Police, partners and event organisers have been working hard alongside each other to improve security up and down the country, but equipping yourself with the knowledge of how to spot suspicious activity and how to act in the incredibly unlikely event of an attack could possibly save your life.”
The summer started with CT Policing officers training festival and events staff in how to spot suspicious behaviour and what to do in the unlikely event of an attack, with thousands of staff members now better equipped to help keep people safe.
Police, together with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ABTA, then turned their attention to advice for holidaymakers, with millions of people across the UK watching a video advising them to ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ in the event of a firearms and weapons attack.
Finally, collaboration with the FA, Premier League and Football leagues culminated in safety advice specifically designed for football fans, which coincided with counter terrorism training for stewards and football security advisors.
All this has taken place against a backdrop of increased threat to the public, with atrocities in the UK alone responsible for killing 36 and injuring more than 200 people.
The UK’s most senior Counter Terrorism officer, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said: “There can be no doubt we have faced a shift in the nature of the terrorist threat to the UK.
“Police and security services are doing all we can to mitigate that threat to the public, who have responded superbly by increasing the number of calls to the confidential hotline and providing us with information which helps us in a significant number of our active investigations.
“Just as important is equipping yourself with some basic knowledge that will help keep you safe.”
Security Minister Ben Wallace said: “The recent terror attacks in the UK and across Europe have been a shocking reminder of the threat we all face.
“Our police and security and intelligence agencies work tirelessly, often unseen, day in and day out to keep us safe and we are currently reviewing our counter-terrorism strategy to see what more can be done.
“This is a job for all of us. The public also have a vital role to play as they are ideally placed to notice activity which is unusual.
“Families and communities should enjoy themselves this bank holiday, while remaining alert but not alarmed by the threat and report any concerns to the police.”
Key advice for anyone attending an event this summer
- Please arrive early for extra security measures. This will help prevent delays in getting into the event.
- Be patient with security checks and help the staff to help you. We know it is inconvenient but they are there to keep you safe.
- It is essential that you do not bring unnecessary items to the event; this will help to speed up searches and your entry to the event.
- If you spot someone acting suspiciously, report it to police or to security staff immediately: don’t leave it to someone else. #ActionCountersTerrorism
- In an emergency, if you think there is an immediate risk, always call 999 and look around you for help from staff – especially those with radios who can raise the alarm quickly.
- Don’t leave bags unattended or anywhere they could cause a security scare. And never agree to look after anyone else’s bags, no matter how plausible their story.
- If there is an incident, listen to staff and any announcements. Organisers will have emergency plans to help you keep safe.
- Remember, the chance of being caught in a terrorism incident is small. But if it happens – Run, Hide, Tell gov.uk/ACT