Link : dedicated North East Counter Terrorism Unit website
The North East Counter Terrorism Unit (NE CTU) was set up in April 2007. It is one of five Counter Terrorism Units designed to strengthen the UK’s response to the threat of terrorism.
West Yorkshire Police has responsibility for the North East CTU. Together with the other Units in Manchester, Birmingham, Thames Valley and London, the North East CTU helps to make sure that the police service in the UK is better equipped to prevent or respond to terrorist incidents and to investigate and prosecute those involved.
The NE CTU delivers essential, specialist support to police throughout the country, and in particular, forces in the North East region. It draws on a wide range of expertise including; skilled detectives, financial investigators, community contact teams, intelligence analysts, forensic specialists and high-tech investigators.
The Unit combines the very latest technology with dedicated resources. In doing so, it is largely self sufficient and can effectively co-ordinate enquiries and operations, without compromising the commitment of local forces to day to day policing.
The development of the CTU is not a reaction to an immediate or increased threat to West Yorkshire specifically, or the North East region, but part of national steps to increase counter terrorism capability.
Action Counters Terrorism (ACT)
Police Call on Public to Help Tackle Increasingly Complex and Varied Terrorist Threat
- New campaign asks public to act on their instincts to help tackle terrorism
- Officers praise public contribution as new insight is shared about thwarted plots
- Senior officer warns threat becoming increasingly complex and varied
With the terror threat becoming increasingly complex and varied, police are calling on communities to act on their instincts to help prevent atrocities taking place in the UK and overseas.
The appeal comes as new figures reveal information from the public has assisted counter terrorism police in a third of their most ‘high-risk’ investigations, helping keep communities safe.
The UK’s most senior counter terrorism officer, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, will launch a new Action Counters Terrorism, or ACT, campaign today (Monday March 6) - urging the public to report suspicious activity to the police.
Mr Rowley will tell an audience of community and business representatives in Manchester that information from the public continues to play significant part in recent successes in countering terrorism. However, officers need even more information to help build better intelligence pictures on individuals or groups plotting attacks.
This comes as the threat, which remains 'Severe' - meaning an attack is highly likely - continues to diversify and expand. This is seen in cases where terrorists have been able to reach across the world to radicalise often vulnerable, volatile or chaotic individuals and groups, and inspire and direct them using instant and secure communications.
Mr Rowley says: “It is very encouraging that in a third of cases involving our most serious terrorist suspects we have benefited from information from the public. The number or calls and online reports we receive is also increasing. This is a testament to the trust people hold in policing - but now we are appealing for even more.
“Counter terrorism policing and the security and intelligence services are working tirelessly to keep the public safe and together we have stopped 12 attacks since the summer of 2013. However, advances in technology make it more complex and challenging for us to spot would-be terrorists because it's easier for them to be in contact with others and be radicalised in a relatively short space of time using encrypted communications.
“The threat is becoming more varied and the move towards low-tech attacks on crowded places, like those we have seen in major European cities and beyond, makes it even more important everyone remains vigilant and acts, by calling us confidentially, if they are concerned about suspicious activity.”
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.
Research to support the ACT campaign looked at public attitudes towards CT policing. Over 80% of respondents said that it was important for communities to work with police to prevent terrorism. However a quarter of those surveyed said they might not report their suspicions because of fears over wasting police time and 39% were unsure about what suspicious behaviour might look like.
Mr Rowley adds: “Our call and report numbers are increasing and research has shown many people want to play their part, but some people worry they might be wasting our time or they are not sure what sort of activity might be suspicious. So we want to allay those concerns and help them to help us make nothing happen.”
More information on what to look out for and how to contact police can be found at gov.uk/ACT or call by calling police confidentially on 0800 789321.
Podcast is a CT campaign first
As part of the new campaign, counter terrorism policing has produced its first ever podcast. ‘Code Severe’ is a two-part series, narrated by actor Mark Strong, revealing previously untold stories of how terrorist attacks on UK soil were prevented - straight from those involved. The stories are told by counter terrorism detectives, bomb disposal and surveillance officers – many speaking publicly for the first time, as well as senior officers, witnesses and the terrorists themselves.
The podcasts give never heard before accounts of police action to protect the public. In one episode: 'Multiple Bombings', a former Special Branch officer explains the race against time to secure vital evidence right under the nose of a terrorist suspect in a highly sensitive covert operation. We also hear – for the very first time - from a member of the public who acted on her instincts after seeing something suspicious and called police, helping detectives locate core ingredients for a massive bomb.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley says: “Our first ever podcast series explains, in a compelling and engaging way, how members of the public acted on their instincts and helped save lives. 'Code Severe' has been produced to help encourage others to do the same. By being more open about the threat and our work to confront it we hope the public will feel better informed and more confident in coming forward.”
"I hope the podcasts will demonstrate that one piece of information shared with the police can make a massive difference. At the same time, if information turns out to be nothing of concern we will still be happy to have checked it out.”
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|A4 Poster (PDF)||A5 Leaflet (PDF)|
The national counter terrorism network reduces the risk of terrorism by delivering the Government’s CONTEST strategy.
CONTEST was launched in 2003 in response to the growing threat from international terrorism. The strategy has evolved significantly overt the last eight years, in line with lessons learned, public and political scrutiny and the developing threat. It was reviewed and updated by the coalition Government when it came into power and remains the UK’s long term strategy for countering terrorism.
CONTEST is divided into four principal strands: Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare.
For more information on CONTEST click here. www.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-terrorism/uk-counter-terrorism-strat/
Terrorism inquiries are extensive and have the potential to tie up large numbers of officers for prolonged periods of time. The Counter Terrorism Units recognise the long term impact of these investigations on local forces. They bring together the range and volume of staff needed to respond to incidents, without hindering efforts to tackle the other crimes which affect our communities.
Counter Terrorism Security Advisors
The North East Counter Terrorism Unit, together with the North East regional forces, is better trained and equipped than ever before to combat the threat of International and Domestic terrorism. As part of the ongoing national counter terrorism strategy, the unit has dedicated Counter Terrorism Security Advisors (CTSAs) who are co-ordinated, trained and tasked by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO).
The primary role of these advisors is to provide protective and counter terrorism security advice to support businesses. The advice available takes into account both conventional and non-conventional terrorist techniques and the aim is to reduce vulnerability to terrorist threats. The CTSAs work closely with other Counter Terrorism Units and Police Forces throughout the Country, Government departments and other agencies.
The public can play a key role in supporting the Counter Terrorism Unit and the Police. By remaining vigilant, being security minded and having good security measures in place, you can protect your business against crime and make the work of terrorists more difficult. A small investment in security measures greatly enhances the feeling of security on behalf of everyone and helps protect those around you.
For non-urgent crime prevention advice, businesses can contact their local Crime Reduction Officer, but if you feel that your company could benefit from counter terrorism security advice, you can contact your local CTSAs via email: [email protected] or write to the following address: Counter Terrorism Security Adviser, PO Box 9, Laburnum Road, Wakefield, WF1 3QP.
The Confidential Anti-terrorist Hotline is 0800 789 321, if the threat is immediate call: 999
If You Suspect It - Report It: In the current climate, the threat of terrorism is real and ongoing.
Across the country, people from all faiths and backgrounds are standing together to tackle terrorism. By making sure we each know how to recognise the signs and know what action to take, we can work together to prevent acts of terrorism.
Terrorists live amongst us; they store their equipment and materials. They need vehicles. They have people who help them - and these people might come and go at strange times of the day and night. They might make unusual financial transactions or use false documents to hide their real identities. They might be behaving differently to how you've known them to behave in the past.
The Police become aware of people or activity in a variety of ways, but often the most accurate and valuable information is that passed on by neighbours, work colleagues, friends and even family members of those involved. If you suspect it, report it.
More information about the Confidential Anti-Terrorism Hotline can be found on the Metropolitan Police Website.
You can also give non-urgent information that might help police investigations online at www.police.uk
Other useful counter terrorism advice and information can be found on the following sites:
- Home Office Security Website
- MI5 Security Service Website
- Secure Your Fertiliser Website
- National Counter Terrorism Security Office Website
- Project Griffin - Protecting our Communities
Disclaimer: Please note that by accessing external links you will be leave the West Yorkshire Police website. West Yorkshire Police is not responsible for the quality, accuracy or content of external websites.