Counter terror cops warn of increased risk of attacks in wake of Israel-Gaza conflict with reports to anti-terrorism hotline DOUBLING compared to same period last year
Reports to a UK police counter-terrorism hotline have more than doubled since the Hamas attack on Israel.
Police said that between October 7 and 25 the anti-terror hotline received around 1,350 reports, more than twice the number of contacts compared to the same period last year.
The number of reports with information useful to investigators went up by nearly four times to 200.
Currently the national terror threat level is set at substantial, meaning an attack is likely.
Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor thanked those who had passed information to the police and said officers were ‘working day and night’ to keep people safe.
Specialist armed anti-terror officers on patrol in Nottingham city centre earlier this year
‘Sadly, history tells us that events overseas can inspire or accelerate acts of violence much closer to home. We are working day and night with our partners to monitor the threat picture,’ he said.
‘We’re acutely aware of the energising effect the conflict could have on those with extremist or terrorist intent.
READ MORE – Rishi Sunak orders police to carry out war-gaming exercises for attacks
‘With that in mind, our Counter Terrorism Units across the country are reviewing their casework and checking that operational police activity is as effective as it can be to keep people safe.
‘Critical to this work is the support of the public. As the increase in the number of reports to Counter Terrorism Policing in the last month shows, there is a real willingness from our communities to tell us about their concerns.
‘To those who have contacted police, thank you, your information can have a huge impact on what we do.’
The national counter-terrorism squad that monitors material online has also seen a rise in referrals, with nearly 2,000 made by the public since October 7.
Of these more than 350 have been found to require further investigation to see if the content breaks terrorism laws.
Police are urging members of the public and businesses to remain alert to the risk of possible terrorist activity over Christmas and the New Year.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: ‘Sadly, history tells us that events overseas can inspire or accelerate acts of violence much closer to home’
Mr Taylor added: ‘The coming months are filled with brilliant events and activities, where people will be coming together to enjoy the festive season.
‘Sadly, we have seen before that terrorists can view these as attractive targets.
‘Whilst we are working incredibly hard, with our partners, to make sure you can enjoy this time of year safely – our message is simple, stay alert and trust your instincts.
‘Whether you’re a business, an event organiser, a local authority or simply heading out with family and friends, if you see something that doesn’t feel right, please report it.
‘You won’t be wasting our time and you could save lives.’
Reports of suspicious activity related to terrorism can be made online at gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321.
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