WEST Midlands Police is supporting a national campaign launched on Monday (March 6) by Counter Terrorism Policing urging the public to act on their instincts to help tackle the terrorist threat.
The campaign is called “Make Nothing Happen” and focuses on the critical role the public can play in defeating terrorism.
This is the first campaign under a new branding platform called ACT – Action Counters Terrorism. It urges the public to report suspicious activity to help police bring dangerous offenders to justice and prevent terror attacks in the UK and overseas.
At a time when the scale, volume and complexity of the terrorism threat continues to grow police are advising the public to ACT to report any potential suspicious activity or online content they come across and are concerned about.
Last year a record number of people contacted the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline, with the service receiving more than 22,000 calls.
Officers hope this number will continue to increase if more can be done to encourage people to call or report online.
The campaign is the result of recent research with the public looking into their attitudes towards CT policing. Over 80 per cent said that it was important for communities to work with the police to prevent terrorism. Yet a quarter said they might not report their suspicions because they were afraid of wasting police time, whilst 39 per cent weren’t sure what is meant by ‘suspicious behaviour’.
‘Make Nothing Happen’ will see a six week national marketing campaign running across radio and digital channels. Supported by national and regional media activity this activity will highlight what to report and how to do it.
The message is clear: “Don’t worry, don’t delay, just ACT” by:
• Reporting suspicious activity to the police by calling or visiting the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or gov.uk/ACT
• Reporting online terrorist and extremist material online by clicking on gov.uk/ACT
• Remaining alert at home, work and when out and about, so we can all play our part in defeating terrorism and keeping everyone safe
The campaign was launched in the West Midlands by Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism used, who said: “Communities can be confident that West Midlands Police, together with our partners, is continually working hard to safeguard the public.
“We want to reassure communities that they shouldn’t be concerned about wasting police time or getting someone into trouble. We encourage the public to work hand-in-hand with the police, acting as our eyes and ears and reporting anything that concerns them and help keep us all safe.”
As part of the campaign, the public will see increased public awareness activity which involves a two-part podcast series telling the inside story of how terrorist attacks were foiled, radio adverts urging the public to act and report their concerns and three short films describing what happens when someone makes a call or online referral. Follow @WMPolice and @TerrorismPolicing to stay updated and spread the message with #ActionCountersTerrorism.
Although part of West Midlands Police, WMCTU is a regional unit – one of five across the country that form the counter terrorism policing network.
Most of the unit’s work is based within the West Midlands Police area but it can also be assigned responsibility for investigating cases anywhere in the country.