Police urge caution in Milton Keynes warning of 'substantial' post-lockdown terrorism risk
Counter Terrorism Police is urging the public to stay vigilant against an increased threat of terrorist attacks now lockdown restrictions have eased.
Counter Terrorism Policing is warning the easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate.
Milton Keynes residents are urged to report anything that looks suspicious to the authorities or security staff in public spaces.
Counter Terrorism Police believes the risk of a terrorist attacks in a newly reopened country is 'substantial'. With non-essential shops, sports and leisure activities and outdoor dining and pub gardens back, Counter Terrorism Policing has launched a new ‘Easing Lockdown Vigilance Campaign’.
The scheme has been created to encourage everyone to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by remaining vigilant and reporting concerns.
Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, Head of the Counter Terrorism Policing unit at the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), which manages the threat of terrorism in Eastern England, 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.”
A key focus of this scheme will be businesses. Counter Terrorism Policing is focused on encouraging businesses to play their part by reviewing and updating their security plans. Another point of emphasis is for businesses to properly risk-assess existing sites or any new areas such as outdoor spaces opened to meet Covid-19 safety rules.
Members of the public are encouraged to complete a free online course on terrorism. The 45-minute training includes expert advice from within the police force, with advice on how to react in the unlikely event you witness an attack firsthand. There's further information in the online workshop on how to spot someone acting suspiciously and responsibly report that behaviour.