Counter Terrorism Policing urges Luton residents to remain vigilant as lockdown restrictions ease

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit tackles serious organised crime and the terrorism threat across the East of England

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 11:38 am

Counter Terrorism Policing is urging the public to remain vigilant as lockdown restrictions ease across England.

The unit is warning that the easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate and is appealing for business owners and the public to support the police’s 24/7 effort to keep the country safe by remaining vigilant and reporting anything that does not seem right to the police or security staff.

The threat to the UK from terrorism remains at ‘SUBSTANTIAL’, meaning an attack is likely, and as public places such as non-essential shops, hospitality and sports events begin to open up, Counter Terrorism Policing has launched a new ‘Easing Lockdown Vigilance Campaign’ to encourage everyone to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by remaining vigilant and reporting concerns.

Counter Terrorism Policing urges Luton residents to remain vigilant as lockdown restrictions ease

Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie is Head of the Counter Terrorism Policing unit at the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), which manages the threat of terrorism in the East of England.

He said: “Following a year of restrictions impacting all our lives, we recognise people will be keen to get out and about as the lockdown restrictions ease, and the importance of businesses being able to return to more regular trading patterns.

“Let’s enjoy these returning freedoms, but please do so in a way that help keeps us safe, not just from Covid-19 but terrorism as well.

“The terrorist threat will understandably not have been high on everyone’s mind in recent months, and I would describe the threat as temporarily suppressed during lockdown.

"The restrictions on public gatherings in the normal spaces meant there was less opportunity for those that seek to harm our communities.

“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, and that is why Counter Terrorism Policing are launching this campaign.”

Much of Counter Terrorism Policing's campaign activity will be focussed on encouraging businesses to play their part in the collective effort by reviewing and updating their security plans, and properly risk-assess existing sites or any new areas such as outdoor spaces opened to meet Covid-19 safety rules.

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.

For more information and to register for access visit: ct.highfieldelearning.com.