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Northumbria Police together with other UK forces are better trained and equipped than ever before to combat the threat of international and domestic terrorism. We constantly review terrorism threats in Northumbria to help keep the public safe. There is no specific terrorist threat to the Northumbria Force Area.

How do I report possible terrorist activity?

If you're suspicious of something that could identify a terrorist threat anywhere in the UK, report it using our quick and confidential online tool, or call the Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Of course, if you suspect an immediate danger, whether it’s suspicious behaviour, a package or a vehicle, move away and call 999 now.

Our priority

What is our priority?

Our priority is to keep the public safe by working closely with all of our communities to prevent terrorism.

We constantly review our operations and contingency planning, liaising with central and local government, emergency services and other agencies.

We also use a wide range of overt and covert policing tactics. Covert tactics, by their nature, are not obvious to the public, but overt tactics include the deployment of high visibility policing at a variety of locations.

While there is no specific threat to Northumbria, the terrorist threat remains real and there is no room for complacency. The public should remain alert and aware of their surroundings at all times.

If you think you have seen something suspicious or you are unsure about somebody’s activities or behaviour, report it. Your call could be vital to us, however insignificant it may seem.

North East Counter Terrorism Unit

Northumbria Police has effective links with the North East Counter-Terrorism Unit, which is located within the West Yorkshire Police area. The unit assists with the gathering of intelligence and evidence to help prevent, disrupt and prosecute terrorist activities.

There are four Counter Terrorism Security Advisors (CTSAs) based in Northumbria Police.

Their role is to:

  • To provide protective security advice on the protection of ‘Crowded Places’
  • To provide protective security advice on the protection of hazardous sites and the security of hazardous substances.
  • To support the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) in helping to protect premises within their remit.

PREVENT

The PREVENT team works to safeguard vulnerable individuals who might be at risk from radicalisation.

  • PREVENT is a key objective in the Government Counter Terrorism Strategy. 

What are the signs of possible terrorist activity?

Signs of possible terrorist activity

A lot of work and detail goes into coordinating a terrorist attack. Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan and prepare, buy and store materials, and find ways to fund their activities. Much of this is done in view of the public.

If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) by reporting it in confidence. Any piece of information could be important, it's better to be safe and report. You can help the police prevent terrorism and save lives. 

You can help by knowing the signs and behaviours of terrorists and being vigilant about their activities, both online and in your community, such as the following.

Storage

Lock-ups, garages and sheds can be used by terrorists to store equipment. Are you suspicious of anyone renting commercial property?

Chemicals

Have you noticed someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals for no obvious reason?

Protective equipment

Handling chemicals is dangerous. Have you seen goggles or masks dumped somewhere?

Funding

Cheque and credit card fraud are ways of generating cash. Have you noticed any suspicious transactions?

Multiple identities

Do you know someone with documents in different names for no obvious reason?

Surveillance

Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you witnessed anyone taking pictures of security arrangements?

Transport

If you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental seemed out of the ordinary?

Travel

Meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they’re going?

Communication

Anonymous, pay-as-you-go and stolen mobiles are typical. Have you seen someone who has several mobiles for no obvious reason?

Computers

Do you know someone who visits terrorist-related websites or shares content that promotes or glorifies terrorism? Read more about online terrorism below.

If any of the above ring true, trust your instincts and report it. Our specially trained officers will take it from there.

What are the signs of possible online terrorist activity?

Some people use the internet to promote, glorify or help carry out acts of terrorism and violent extremism. You can help by being vigilant for behaviour and content such as:

  • speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence
  • videos of violence with messages in praise of terrorists
  • postings inciting people to commit acts of terrorism or violent extremism
  • messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or ethnic group
  • bomb-making instructions


If you suspect certain online behaviour or content could be of a terrorist or violent extremist nature, please report it using the UK government’s simple and anonymous online tool.

How do I report my concerns?

How do I report possible terrorist activity?

If you're suspicious of something that could identify a terrorist threat anywhere in the UK, report it using our quick and confidential online tool, or call the Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Even if you’re not sure or it seems trivial, please let us know so that our specially trained officers can look into it, no call or online report will be ignored.

Of course, if you suspect an immediate danger, whether it’s suspicious behaviour, a package or a vehicle, move away and call 999 now.

How do I report online terrorist or extremist content?

If you’ve come across a website or online content (including emails, forums or social media) that you feel is of a violent extremist or terrorist nature, please report it using the UK government’s quick and anonymous online tool.

Specialist officers will assess your information and, where appropriate, investigate the website and work with partners to remove it.

Of course, if you suspect an immediate danger please call 999 now.

Can anyone find out that I contacted the police?

Not if you don’t want them to. We treat all of the information that you provide in the strictest of confidence. If we do need to get in touch for any reason we will be extremely discreet.

Can I remain anonymous?

We ask everyone providing information to also give their name and contact details, but this is your decision. By providing your contact details this will help us verify the authenticity of the information and support you as quickly as possible if we need to.

If you’d prefer to give information anonymously, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

What if the information I give is wrong?

That’s OK. If you have a genuine concern about something you’ve seen or heard, we’d much rather you tell us than keep it to yourself. That way, our specially trained officers can look into it. If it turns out to be nothing, that’s good news.

What can I do?

Communities defeat terrorism. We need the help and support of individuals, businesses and communities across the UK to remain alert and maintain the safety and security of those places where we live, work and socialise.

If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) by reporting it in confidence. Any piece of information could be important, so it's better to be safe and report anything you see. You can help the police prevent terrorism and save lives. 

Crowded places, events, public transport, and iconic locations throughout the country are some examples of locations that could be potential targets for terrorists. 

You're familiar with your workplace and surrounding area, so you’re ideally placed to spot when something is amiss. In this period of heightened alert, it is vital to remain vigilant, trust your instincts and report possible terrorist activity to the police. 

Look for anything that seems out of the ordinary, such as:

  • people in stationary vehicles watching a building or structure
  • vehicles moving slowly near public buildings, structures or bridges, or parked in suspicious circumstances
  • people using recording equipment, including camera phones, or seen making notes or sketches of security details
  • someone suspicious paying close attention to specific entry and exit points, stairwells, hallways or fire escapes
  • people loitering at or near premises for long periods and watching staff, visitors and deliveries for no apparent reason
  • people asking detailed or unusual questions about buildings and business operations, facilities (such as room layouts), security or parking for no apparent reason
  • anyone in ‘off limits’ areas, plant rooms and similar – ask these people who they are and what they're doing, and report this immediately to your security manager or call 999.


If you’ve witnessed any of the above, trust your instincts and report it, in confidence, using our online tool or call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. Our specially trained officers will take it from there.

FAQ

I want to report suspect behaviour. Can I remain anonymous?

We treat all of the information that you provide in the strictest of confidence. If we do need to get in touch for any reason we will be extremely discreet.

Can I speak to someone other than the police?

Absolutely. You can speak to the organisations below in complete confidence. They can pass your information to us and preserve your anonymity.

  • Crimestoppers
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Fair Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR)
  • Hindu Forum Britain
  • The Community Security Trust (for matters related to the Jewish community)

What if the information I give is wrong?

That’s okay. If you have a genuine concern about something you’ve seen or heard, we’d much rather you tell us than keep it to yourself. That way, our specially trained officers can look into it. If it turns out to be nothing, that’s good news.

What are the different threat levels?

The threat level indicates the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the UK. Threat levels don’t have an expiry date. They can change at any time as different information becomes available to security agents.

There are 5 levels of threat:

  • Low - an attack is unlikely
  • Moderate - an attack is possible but not likely
  • Substantial - an attack is a strong possibility
  • Severe - an attack is highly likely
  • Critical - an attack is expected imminently

Do police target specific communities when investigating terrorism?

No individual is targeted by police because of their culture, faith, race or religion.

Our enquiries are carried out under the provisions of existing UK law, which takes into account the human and legal rights of those involved. Terrorist investigations go where the intelligence and evidence takes us.

We make every effort to ensure that minority communities are not criminalised or victimised in any way.

What is radicalisation and what are the warning signs to look out for?

An individual vulnerable to radicalisation would show a change in their behaviour and those close to the person (e.g. teachers or family members) may notice , this could include spending vast amounts of time on the internet, bullying, race crime or anti social behaviour. In extreme cases it can lead to the individual committing an act of terrorism.

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