Police forces across the North West are encouraging people and businesses to be prepared to play their part in keeping the country safe from terrorism during Counter Terrorism Awareness Week.
CTAW is a national campaign highlighting the work police officers and partners are carrying out 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the North West and the rest of the UK from a terrorist attack.
Through the week, North West forces are focusing on key themes that fall within the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST - Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. The week highlights where action by the police, businesses and the public can prevent terrorism: vigilance in crowded places and transport hubs, preventing violent extremism, cutting off terrorist financing, and preventing access to tools that terrorists need to operate.
ACC Ian Wiggett, the North West lead for counter terrorism, said: “Following the increase of the international terrorism threat to severe, there is a heightened need to ensure the North West is in the best position to deter and detect potential terrorist threats.
“The week highlights the importance of training people to look out for suspicious behaviour and what they should do if an attack happens, along with preventing terrorism and radicalisation. It is important to protect vulnerable people by responding to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it.
“This is not about scaring people, but highlighting that everybody, from law enforcement to businesses, to the general public, has a role to play in keeping the UK safe from terrorism. We encourage people to be vigilant to things that are out of place or suspicious and report it to the police.“
This morning, police forces across the North West will be briefing businesses as part of the Crowded Places theme – shopping centres, cinemas, sporting stadiums and faith venues to help them step up their security and train their staff at 11 venues across the region.
Businesses will receive a briefing about counter-terrorism measures under Op Griffin, which will better equip them to deal with their organisations’ security challenges both on a day-to-day basis, and in the event of a major incident.
This afternoon, to highlight Tuesday’s Transport Hubs theme, the Police vessel, Consortium will be docked at a Marina in Liverpool. Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Ward will talk about CT Awareness Week and Project Kraken which is a National Crime Agency, Police, and Border Force initiative to increase vigilance along the UK’s coastline. Project Kraken aims to increase public reporting of unusual or suspicious behaviour in and around coastal and maritime environments.