After an appalling and unprecedented 12 months in which five terrorist attacks have been carried out on British soil resulting in 36 deaths and hundreds being injured, there can be no denying the alarming scale of the challenge facing the police and security services both in the UK and across Europe.
At the same time that Parsons Green Tube bomber Ahmed Hassan, whose device injured 51 when it partially exploded on a carriage in September, was being jailed for life in London yesterday, armed police in France had to shoot dead a gunman who had taken hostages in a town supermarket.
The scale of the issue is shown by the fact that a total of 600 investigations are currently running in the UK into 3,000 suspicious individuals, with a further 20,000 people flagged as being of concern, including both supporters of IS and far-right groups.
Preventing attacks is made more difficult by the growing trend of lone attackers armed with low-tech weapons such as knives and vehicles targeting innocent people in public places.
Stopping every aspiring terrorist from slipping through the net in this context is a near-impossible task and has meant armed police patrolling streets and shopping centres is now a common sight.
Both those frontline officers and the counter-terrorism police and security services who are working so hard to keep us all safe deserve the nation’s thanks and gratitude, especially as more than a dozen planned attacks in Britain have been thwarted in the last four years.
Counter-terror police in Yorkshire say they now need the public’s help more than ever before. People should trust their instincts and report concerns that may appear minor - such pieces of information could prove to be highly significant in building a bigger picture about potential terrorist activity and ultimately save lives.