North Yorkshire Police Anti-Terror Campaign takes to the road thanks to Police Volunteers

North Yorkshire Police is supporting the latest Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) campaign through a series of volunteer-led community roadshows across the Scarborough and Ryedale area.

The ACT campaign was launched in March by the UK Counter Terrorism Police and is designed to raise awareness of what, when and how to report suspicious activity to help prevent terrorist attacks.

Police Support Volunteers will be teaming up with local police teams and Scarborough Borough Council to take the campaign out into the community.

The first of the roadshows will be held at the Brunswick Shopping Centre in Scarborough on Thursday 5 April between 9am and 1pm when police officers and volunteers will be handing out leaflets encouraging members of the public to report anything they see or hear that could be terrorist related.

Further roadshows will follow throughout the spring and summer at public events including Malton Food Market and Dalby Forest Moors and Shores Adventure Cross  where crime prevention advice and property marking will also be available.

Chief Inspector Andy Colbourne, deputy command for the Scarborough and Ryedale area, said: “My thanks go to our volunteers for their support in taking the ACT campaign into our communities. Everyone has a part to play to keep our neighbourhoods safe and knowing what to look out for and how to report your suspicions will be a huge help.”

Sandra Rees Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager for Scarborough Borough Council, added: “Members of the public need to be aware of the importance of reporting anything that they think is unusual and if you are having that conversation with yourself along the lines of  ‘something is  not right’, then please trust your instincts and report it. In addition to holding these public events, we are also liaising with local businesses to ensure as many people as possible are getting these important messages.”

The recently appointed Head of Counter Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations (ACSO), Neil Basu, praised the public’s willingness to ACT in response to last year’s unprecedented rise in terrorist activity, which resulted in record numbers of people contacting the police through online referral forms and the confidential hotline to report suspicious behaviour and activity.

A call to action will encourage the public to report suspicious behaviour and activity via the online tool at www.gov.uk/ACT , helping the police to prevent terrorism and save lives.

“We have been saying for some time now that communities defeat terrorism, and these figures demonstrate just how important members of the public are in the fight to keep our country safe,” says ACSO Neil Basu.

“Since the beginning of 2017 we have foiled 10 Islamist and four right wing terror plots, and there is no doubt in my mind that would have been impossible to do without relevant information from the public.”

Of the nearly 31,000 public reports to Counter Terrorism (CT) Policing during 2017, more than 6,600 (21.2%) resulted in useful intelligence - information which is used by UK officers to inform live investigations or help build an intelligence picture of an individual or group.

Research carried out by CT Policing suggests that while more than 80% of people are motivated to report suspicious activity or behaviour, many are unclear exactly what they should be looking for.

The second phase of the ‘ACT –Action Counters Terrorism’ from CT Policing aims to educate the public about terrorist attack planning and reinforce the message that any piece of information, no matter how small, could make the difference between a lethal attack or a successful disruption.

“Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan and that creates opportunities for police and the security services to discover and stop these attacks before they happen” added ACSO Basu.

“But we need your help to exploit these opportunities, so if you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence by phone 0800 789321 or online via www.gov.uk/act .

Call the confidential hotline on 0800 789 321
In an emergency, always dial 999