Terrorism in the UK
The threat from terrorism is real and serious. We’ve seen that terrorists can strike at any time and any place without warning. Sussex Police plays a key role in protecting the UK, but communities defeat terrorism and we need help and support from you and your community. Find out more about what we’re doing to keep Sussex safe, how to spot possible terrorist activity and how to report anything suspicious that you’ve seen or heard.
ACT: Action Counters Terrorism
If you’ve seen or heard something that could suggest a terrorist threat to the UK, even if it seems minor or not worth mentioning, trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it.
Any piece of information could be important, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it is better to be safe and report it.
You can help us prevent terrorism and save lives. Even if you’re not sure, please let us know so our specially trained officers can look into it, no call or click will be ignored. Action Counters Terrorism.
How do I report possible terrorist activity?
There are different ways you can tell us about possible terrorist activity either in the UK, or that might affect the UK.
If it’s an emergency and you suspect an immediate danger call 999.
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 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.
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.
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 by reporting it in confidence. Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. You can help the police prevent terrorism and save lives. Action Counters Terrorism.
You can help by knowing the signs and behaviours of terrorists and being vigilant of their activities, both online and in your community, such as:
- 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, ACT 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, you can help make a real difference. ACT on your concerns and report it using the UK Government’s simple and anonymous online tool.
The threat of terrorism in the UK is real, but with a little knowledge you can increase your safety and help protect yourself against a terrorist attack. Find out below how to stay safe when you’re out and about and how to report any suspicious behaviour that could be connected to terrorism.
What can I do as someone who works in Sussex?
Communities defeat terrorism. We need the help and support of individuals, businesses and communities across Sussex to remain alert and maintain the safety and security of those places in which we live, work and socialise. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence. Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. You can help the police prevent terrorism and save lives.
Crowded places, events, public transport, and iconic locations are some examples of locations that could be potential targets for terrorists.
You are 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. Action Counters Terrorism.
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
- Challenge those in offices and ‘off limits’ areas, plant rooms and similar – report matters immediately to your security manager or dial 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.
Where can I find security advice for my business or organisation?
Specialist officers carry out regular security briefings for the business community.
Counter Terrorism Security Advisers can identify and assess critical sites in your community that may be vulnerable to terrorist or extremist attack. They then devise and develop appropriate protective security plans to minimise impact on that site and the surrounding community.
We have a dedicated Counter-Terrorist Intelligence Unit (CTIU) which works alongside the rest of the force in protecting and reassuring the public, and reducing the risk from terrorism. The Unit engages with all communities, local authorities, higher education and universities, as well as many other local bodies, in order to prevent violent extremism.
The Unit also offers specialist protective security advice to locations deemed to be at a greater risk from terrorism. CTIU are involved in the disruption and detection of terrorist activity and has close links between local police and the communities they serve.
CTIU work at airports and ports in conjunction with the UK Border Agency.
Sussex Police is working in partnership with Gatwick Airport on Project Griffin, a national counter-terrorism initiative.
This initiative aims to protect our cities and communities from the threat of terrorism and crime and to improve communication links between Sussex Police, Gatwick Airport and the community.
We are recognised as the lead airport within the UK for Project Griffin.
Project Kraken is a national police maritime crime and counter-terrorism strategy linked to other police forces, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the UK Border Force (UKBF). It provides a reporting system which protects the UK coastline against terrorism, serious organised crime such as human and drugs trafficking and the theft of boats and equipment.
Project Pegasus is a national police crime and counter-terrorism strategy linked to other police forces, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the UK Border Force (UKBF). The project provides a reporting system which protects UK airspace against terrorism, serious organised crime such as human and drugs trafficking and the theft of aircraft and equipment.
One current focus of our Prevent teams is to keep people safe and to discourage local citizens from travelling to Syria, Iraq and other war zones due to the high levels of violence being experienced within these countries.
Project Servator is a policing tactic that aims to deter, detect and disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, while providing a reassuring presence for the public.
From October 2018, we are trialing this new tactic at Gatwick Airport, working with partners, including businesses and the public, to continue to protect the airport and everyone who visits or works there. We aim to make it a difficult place for criminals and terrorists to operate.
Project Servator is already in use in various parts of the UK, including across the whole of London, after it was pioneered by the City of London Police in 2014.
What we will do
Our Project Servator deployments are highly visible and unpredictable and can happen at any time, anywhere across the airport. They involve uniformed and plain clothedpolice officers, including those specially-trained to spot the tell-tale signs of individuals who may have criminal intent. They are supported by other resources such as police dogs, armed officers, vehicle checkpoints, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV.
If a Project Servator deployment is happening where you are, there’s nothing to worry about. They are normal police deployments. Don’t be surprised or alarmed if you see us and weren’t expecting it.
Officers will talk to the public, airport staff and businesses to let them know what they are doing and remind them to be vigilant, trust their instincts and report any suspicious or unusual behaviour. You may also see officers handing out leaflets explaining what Project Servator is, or posters on display.
Working with the community is a vital part of making Project Servator a success. If you have any questions please feel free to talk to our officers.
Our teams also work with partners, such as , security staff and CCTV operators to carry out deployments. Together, we’ve got it covered.
What we need you to do
You have an important role to play by reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, for example an unattended item or someone acting suspiciously.
You can report your concerns to officers in the airport. Alternatively, you can call Sussex Police on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Businesses and retailers have a vital role to play too. We rely on their support and vigilance to ensure our tactics in the fight against crime are successful. If you see one of our leaflets in a business or retailer, this means we are working with them to keep the public safe.
It is important to us that we get the right balance between deterring and detecting criminals while not upsetting communities and visitors. We are always looking for feedback, both good and bad. If you have any concerns or wish to discuss Project Servator, please contact us on 101.
Keep up to date with Project Servator at Gatwick Airport by following us on Twitter or across the country by searching