Lockdown easing could provide greater opportunity for terrorists to operate, warns senior police officer

The easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate, a senior counter terrorism officer has warned on the day Covid-19 regulations were relaxed across England

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Counter Terrorism Policing’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist is appealing for business owners and the public to support the police’s efforts to keep the country safe by remaining vigilant, and reporting anything that doesn’t seem right to security staff or the police.

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, the security experts at Counter Terrorism Policing have launched a new vigilance campaign to encourage everyone to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives.

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Mr 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.

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

The campaign is focused 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.