With UK officials recently claiming that a successful chemical, biological or nuclear attack is likely to occur in the next ten years, police and government bodies are urging the public to be vigilant as leisure, hospitality and workplaces look set to fully re-open in June.
In a recent statement released by Counter Terrorism Policing, the senior officer responsible for ensuring the UK is protected against the threat of terrorism has warned businesses and the public that they must be alert to more than just the threat of COVID-19 this summer.
In the full statement, Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist explains how the easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate.
DACSO Matt Twist said: “Following a year of restrictions impacting all our lives, we recognise people will be keen to get out and about as the lockdown begins to ease, and the importance of businesses being able to return to more regular trading patterns.
“But we must continue to follow public health guidance and remain vigilant, not just against the threat of the virus but against the threat of terrorism as well.
“Terrorism will understandably not have been high on anyone’s mind in recent months, and I would describe the threat as temporarily suppressed during lockdown, because it was difficult to go out in public and actually do anything.
“But that means that as the crowded places which have traditionally been the target for terrorists start to fill with people again, there is always the potential for that risk to come back.
“The best defence against the terrorist threat is a collective community effort – where police, security staff, businesses and the public come together to minimise the chance of attack.”
“Taking part in our free training and remaining vigilant when you’re out and about this summer helps keep us all safe, and creates a hostile place for terrorists to operate.”
The public can do their bit in protecting the UK from terrorism by completing the official Action Counters Terrorism online e-learning for free. Taking just 45 minutes to complete, the online training provides the latest advice from CT experts, informing how to react in the unlikely event of a terror attack and how to spot and report suspicious activity and behaviour.